Lars Larson: Baltimore Bridge vs. our I-5 bridge

 Lars Larson
NW and national radio host,

The collapse of Key Bridge in Baltimore Harbor and plans to replace it tell us something very important about the biggest boondoggle here in the Northwest.

The Interstate 5 bridge IS 50% wider at six lanes than the four lanes of Key Bridge.

But Key Bridge is MORE than twice as long at 86 hundred feet to I-5’s 3600.

Both carry interstate freeways.

Both must be high enough to let ships pass on the water below.

So, they’re comparable in a lot of ways.

But then the differences diverge.

Today, engineers estimate Key bridge could be replaced in 18 months to two years if politicians cut enough red tape.

Today’s cost estimates for Key run from 400 to 800 million.

Here in the Northwest, the folks behind the Interstate Bridge Replacement claim I-5 will cost 20 times as much and take a decade or longer.

Sounds like every government project I’ve ever seen.

Maybe there’s an engineering principle where construction goes faster if you’re only 42 miles from the White House and it’s an election year.