SALEM, Ore. - The Oregon Senate has voted to approve funding for that state’s share of the Columbia River Crossing. It would connect Portland and Vancouver, Washington.
House Bill 2800 authorizes $450 million in bond funding for the project. Supporters believe the I-5 bridge replacement will provide seismic stability and boost commerce. Opponents considered the Columbia River Crossing too costly. Environmental impacts were also a concern.
But Democratic Senator Lee Beyer urged his colleagues to get down to the bottom line.
“If you think the bridge is important for public safety, if you think it’s important for Oregon’s economy, then you should vote yes,” he said.
The bill received bipartisan support, and passed 18 to 11.
This is the final legislative hurdle in Oregon for the Columbia River Crossing. It’s also the first major piece of legislation to head to Governor John Kitzhaber’s desk this session. In a released statement, Kitzhaber says he looks forward to signing the bill.
On the Web:
Gov. Kitzhaber’s statement on I-5 bridge replacement - Office of the Governor
HB 2800: Funding the Columbia River Crossing - Oregon Legislature
Columbia River Crossing - official site