Columbia River Crossing
The convergence of surface transportation and port facilities in Portland and Vancouver make the Interstate 5 (I-5) corridor, between the Interstate 84 interchange in Oregon and the Interstate 205 (I-205) interchange in Washington, the crossroads for freight flows by all modes into, through and around this region. The Columbia River Crossing is critical to the Port of Portland as it proposes a solution for one of the most congested segments of Oregon’s highway system. The CRC project will also improve navigation for marine traffic on the Columbia River and eliminate the need for bridge lifts.
This two-bridge crossing, which served 30,000 vehicles per day in the 1960s, now carries more than 125,000 automobiles, buses and trucks each weekday. It is the only remaining lift span bridge on the Interstate system.
Improved safety is a critical aspect of this project. The bridge crossing area and its approach sections experience crash rates more than two times higher than statewide averages for comparable urban highways in Washington and Oregon, largely due to outdated design. Incident evaluations attribute crashes to congestion, closely spaced interchanges, short weave and merge sections, vertical grade changes in the bridge span and narrow shoulders.
The Port of Portland shares the hope, along with Governors Kulongoski and Gregoire, that this project will be a national demonstration project on how to design and build a large scale project that minimizes environmental costs, promotes clean energy and combats climate change while solving a critical transportation and economic issue for our region.
For more information about the project, go to: www.columbiarivercrossing.com
For more information about the Columbia River Crossing Coalition, go to: www.crossingcoalition.org