Columbia River bridge not dead yet

By GENE H. McINTYRE If former President Ronald Reagan were alive today and living in Oregon, he’d likely say something like, “There you go again!” A comment like that from him now would be in reference to the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) as was planned between Portland and Vancouver, Wash., to replace the Interstate 5 bridge.  It is, one might say, currently in a state of moribund. But wait! Hold on! We learn now that the proposed bridge is not so dead after all.  The governors of Washington and Oregon see their business and industry pals as cashing in on it, beyond the cost of planning with anticipated “thank you” political donations.  So, yes, of course, they continue to be in favor of building it. Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has a lot on his plate now. He has turned the bridge project over to the his head of the CRC intergovernmental affairs and government relations, Patricia McCaig, a person who may have a lot at personal financial gain at stake in this matter.  After all, she is under ethics complaints for incurring a conflict of interest and failing to register as a lobbyist in Salem, which—surprise!— she denies. More than $170 million has already been spent planning for the CRC and there are those who don’t want to see that money “wasted.”  But that money has already been spent (wasted?) as the “last” design, before Washington state’s Senate said, “No!” was vetoed by the U.S Coast Guard due to...

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