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Stop the Columbia River Crossing Boondoggle

February 09, 2013

Your ACTION is needed! The Oregon State Legislature as decided to fast track the Columbia River Crossing despite the public outcry. Today HB 2800 has been scheduled for a public hearing this MONDAY, February 11 at the State Capitol Hearing Room F from 3pm until 9pm.

This boondoggle of a project meets none of our traffic congestion needs. Yet legislators have brought forward a bill that will fund this project which will have a huge impact on the State Highway Fund and all other need transportation dollars around the state. They are planning on selling bonds against our future Federal Transportation dollars taking Oregon dangerously back to our maximum bonding authority, despite other potential needs for bonding authority.  And on top of that, they are planning on making it a toll bridge.

The CRC boondoggle will:

  • HB 2800 imposes large debt service requirements on future motorists to pay for up-front bonds, and that money will simply cannibalize other highway/road projects everywhere else in the state
  • Introduces expensive tolls on I5 and push cost overruns to Oregon and Washington when toll revenue comes in below expectations.
  • It eliminates the potential for other transportation projects to be built, based on likely cost overruns that the state will have to backfill.
  • There is no contingency plan for revenue shortfalls or cost overruns!
  • The planning process for the CRC has been wrought with cronyism and process-rigging to exclude skeptics of its financial plan.
  • A forensic accountant has identified over $100M of pork stuffed into the CRC plan, for projects completely unrelated to the CRC!
  • The time of travel for commuters currently using buses but switching to the new light rail line between Portland and Vancouver will go up from 16 minutes to 36 minutes!!
  • The current CRC plan will not improve freight mobility.
  • Even the Coast Guard has said the current bridge plan is too low, therefore they cannot issue the necessary permits.
  • Since the state has been doing this very thing for most of the past decade (selling bonds to be paid off by gas tax money), ODOT is projecting that a large portion of gas tax money through 2020 and beyond will be lost to debt service anyway, so HB 2800 makes a bad situation worse.
  • The project, if built, will never work because the bridge would be like a big funnel, and south of the Columbia everything would come to a halt right near the Fremont bridge
  • Since the current bridge is structurally sound, it should be left standing, and at least 2 new bridges should be built (one to the west of I-5, and one out in Gresham)
  • There is no reason for Oregon taxpayers to spend one penny expanding TriMet’s service territory into another state. The light rail portion should be removed.
  • This is the largest mega-project boondoggle in Oregon history!

Take Action by: attending the bill hearing this Monday and sending emails and phone calls to the Committee members immediately

Committee Staffer: patrick.brennan@state.or.us

Co-Chair    Representative Cliff Bentz  503-986-1460

Co-Chair  Representative Tobias Read   503-986-1427

Co-Chair  Senator Lee Beyer   503-986-1706

Co-Chair  Senator Bruce Starr   503-986-1715

Senator Chuck Thomsen   503-986-1726

Senator Chris Edwards  503-986-1707

Senator Fred Girod   503-986-1709

Senator Rod Monroe   503-986-1724

Representative Kevin Cameron   503-986-1419

Representative John Davis   503-986-1426

Representative Margaret Doherty   503-986-1426

Representative Chris Gorsek   503-986-1449

Representative John Lively   503-986-1412

Representative Caddy McKeown   503-986-1409

Representative Nancy Nathanson   503-986-1413

Representative Julie Parrish   503-986-1437


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