The Vancouver area’s transit agency, C-TRAN, has asked staff to prepare a draft plan on moving forward with the Columbia River Crossing. But the C-TRAN board also left the door open to a withdrawal from the project.
Board members have wrestled for weeks over whether their constituents would approve of continued involvement with the bridge project. Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt mentioned the uncertainty surrounding the project’s state funding. Washington’s legislature has so far declined to approve the $450 million needed to complete a local funding package.
Leavitt said, “The fact is if the state legislature doesn’t get its act together, there’s no project. And why should this board stick its neck out beyond where the higher levels of government are, when in reality they’re the ones who are bringing the meat to the table?”
After hours of testimony and discussion, the board asked C-TRAN staff to draft a light rail plan for a new bridge.
If Washington’s Attorney General gives the plan a green light, and if the legislature moves on state funding, the board majority said the project should move ahead.
Members David Madore and Connie Jo Freeman abstained.