from Bill Wyatt, Port of Portland Executive Director, regarding the Columbia
River Crossing Status
the heels of Washington State’s decision not to take up a transportation
gas-tax proposal that would have paid the state's $450 million share of the
Columbia River Crossing Project; we want to start by saying how disappointed we
are that Washington failed to support this critical infrastructure project.
we are anxious to begin work with the Oregon Department of Transportation on
plans for I-5 improvements such as the Rose Quarter and Marine Drive interchanges
on the Oregon side of the river.
interest in the bridge all along was to alleviate traffic congestion in the I-5
corridor which affects freight mobility overall, the economic viability of the
region’s businesses as well as access to our industrial properties, marine
facilities and the airport. At some point our region will need to address
a replacement bridge to ensure continued economic vitality and ensure
safety for citizens on both sides of the Columbia.
the bridge has relevance to future plans for West Hayden Island, it should not
be viewed as a determining factor of whether or not to proceed with
annexation. In fact, the Washington decision has little or no impact on our
continued work toward annexation as some have inferred. The key reason is that
any proposed marine development on the island would be rail dependent.
traffic studies have shown that, because of this rail dependence, full
development (three terminals on the 300 acre site) would represent less than 4
percent of the interchange traffic in 2030. In addition, the annexation
agreement with the city requires that traffic impacts will be addressed,
including a cap on truck movement.
be clear, the Port is a major supporter of the Columbia River Crossing project,
its associated interchange improvements, light rail and the arterial bridge,
but our interest is fully centered upon the need to keep freight moving at our
existing facilities—both air and marine—as well as through our entire
remain committed to furthering the West Hayden Island annexation process which
is essential to the Port’s ability to be able to market 300 acres of the
property for future development, estimated to be seven to ten years out, while
preserving 500 acres for habitat restoration and recreation purposes.