Kotek-Buttigieg bridge $$ fiasco

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon


Governor Tina Kotek met with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg this week over a replacement for the Columbia River Crossing Bridge.

The original cost of a new Columbia River Crossing Bridge was around $2 billion dollars in 2008.

Politicians delayed and added more the project plans such as an expensive Light Rail Train which Vancouver residents didn’t want.    Over $175 million to $229 million was spent studying the bridge that was never built.

Now comes 2024, and the cost of the bridge is expected to be $6 billion.   The cost is high because of inflation and also because politicians demand that an expensive, seldom used Light Rail train be included.  Remember, Light Rail is heavily subsidized by taxpayers and does not operate during times of very cold or hot temperatures (as we just got reminded last month).

John Ley spoke on Lars Larson about costs and shared that you can indeed build a bridge for about $1 billion “You should be able to build a replacement bridge for $1 billion or less. (Here). Oregon is currently working with Washington to replace the Hood River bridge over the Columbia for $400-$500 million. The (new) Tacoma Narrows Bridge was built for $786 million in 2007 It provides 188 feet of clearance for marine traffic and is over 50 percent longer. In the failed CRC, the cost of the bridge was $792 million, less than one quarter the $3.5 billion price tag of the project.” 

With $6 billion price tag, could taxpayers have instead spent half the money to upgrade the CRC bridge to earthquake standards (and without light rail) and still have enough money to build a third bridge?

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