New Vancouver Mayor Says It's Time To Replace The Interstate Bridge

By Kate Davidson (OPB)
Nov. 9, 2017 11:46 p.m.

Vancouver elected a new mayor this week, Anne McEnerny-Ogle. She talked to All Things Considered host Kate Davidson about her plans and hopes for the Southwest Washington city.


She wants a new bridge over the Columbia River.

"We're talking about replacing that I-5 bridge, that is the goal of our legislative group and of our Southwest Washington communities. We want to replace that I-5 bridge. That lift bridge is stopping traffic from Canada to Mexico. That does not work for us."

She says Washington is ready to build the bridge — so it’s time for Oregon to get on board.


"The funding for this project has totally changed. Before a third of that money came from the federal government. That money is gone. We’re going to have to look at alternatives, Oregon a third, Washington a third, a third from tolling.

"It looks like Washington is ready to have that conversation. Now we need Oregon to come back to the table. They were, bless their hearts, doing such a good job. They were there for us as we failed to carry through with our Washington legislature. Now that we’re ready, we’re hoping Oregon comes back."

She wants the city to do more on homelessness.

"We did take the opportunity … to purchase the old Washington State Fish and Wildlife building, about 23,000 square feet. We're going to look at the front part to be a day center … perhaps the back end of it might be a shelter. We are trying our best to figure out how do we take care of everyone. We're taking little bites at a time."

She thinks – and hopes – talk of an oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver is dead.

"The City Council has been opposed to the storage of oil for years … We even changed our ordinances to prevent the storage of oil. The commissioners for the port need to take another look at that. They have to make that decision. The city of Vancouver is ready to help them with requests for proposal for new opportunities. What other tenants could use that space? The port of Vancouver is a unique opportunity with a deep-water river that leads right out to the Pacific Ocean. That’s a great opportunity with rail line and a loop. We’re here to help the port if they’d like."

To listen to the entire conversation with Vancouver Mayor-elect Anne McEnerny-Ogle, use the audio player at the top of this story.