Lars Larson: OR & WA bridge boondoggle

By Lars Larson,
NW and national radio host

Hey folks, if you’re gullible enough, ODOT has a boondoggle bridge to sell you.

We all know when someone makes you an offer like that, they’re telling you they think YOU’RE dumb enough to actually buy it.

Oregon’s failed transportation agency wants state lawmakers to borrow a billion bucks to build it.

Total Price Tag: 8 billion.

Oregon and Washington have only vague ideas where to find the rest of that cash.

Here’s what we do know:

The billion bucks Oregon lawmakers plan to borrow comes from other essential highway projects that will get delayed.

The Interstate bridge is already “dead on arrival” because the Coast Guard refuses to approve it as planned: not tall enough for ship traffic.

Federal regulators told Oregon to add a lift span. The existing lift creates many of the traffic problems the new bridge is supposed to fix. And they think WE’RE dumb.

The old bridge has too few traffic lanes but since ODOT hates cars, the new bridge will have the same number.

ODOT warns that highway taxes on trucks will rise to pay back the borrowed billion .

The bridge includes light rail that voters on both sides of the River have already rejected, soundly.

And, of course, it includes tolling that will punish everyone who drives.