Two groups are suing to challenge the massive public works project designed to replace the aging Interstate Bridge between Portland and Vancouver.
A sustainability advocacy group has joined forces with some neighborhood representatives and environmental watchdogs to protest the creation of bigger bridges where the Interstate and Glenn Jackson bridges now stand.
Steve Cole, with the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, says the plaintiffs see the project adding to congestion, not easing it.
"Typically when you widen a highway, you'll get an increased numbers of commuters coming in on a widened highway," Cole says. "Evidence has shown you can't build yourself out of congestion."
That suit seeks to force Oregon and Washington to pursue other alternatives.
In a separate case, Thompson Metal Fab, a company based in Vancouver, has asked a federal judge to halt the planning that calls for a 95-foot Columbia River Crossing bridge. That height would not be adequate for Thompson's shipping needs.
A spokeswoman for the Columbia River Crossing project says the environmental lawsuit was expected. She characterized Thompson Metal's filing as more of a surprise. She says the bridge planning process will move forward, and will not be slowed by the lawsuits.