Supporters of the Columbia River Crossing are still trying to revive a funding package in the Washington Legislature.
Democratic State Representative Jim Moeller represents part of Clark County. He told OPB’s Think Out Loud that while Senate Republicans blocked the funding from a wider transportation bill, he believes regional business support will overcome political opposition to funding the bridge.
And, Moeller predicts, it’s going to happen with a light rail component intact.
“Without light rail, we will not have a project. Without tolls, we will not have a project. It is not just a Clark County issue. It is an entire West Coast issue.”
Republican State Senator Don Benton represents an eastern Clark County district. He says majority leaders in the Washington Senate will not support any bridge project with light rail — no matter who promises to foot the bill.
“Light rail does not solve congestion problems. Washington doesn’t want to pay for it.”
Oregon has approved its $450 million share of local funding, but without the Washington piece, federal funders say the math won’t add up.
OPB | Feb. 22, 2017