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Future Looks Grim For Columbia River Crossing Bridge Project

The Oregon legislative bill that authorized $450 million to help build a new bridge across the Columbia River between Portland and Vancouver expires Monday.

Late last week, the Columbia River Crossing project cleared three key hurdles. The Coast Guard granted a crucial height permit; the feds said a new environmental impact statement wouldn’t be necessary; and the C-Tran board in Clark County approved a plan to operate the light rail on the Washington side of the river.

The current Interstate 5 bridge.

The current Interstate 5 bridge.

Washington State Department of Transportation

But Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Pat Cooney says the bridge didn’t appear to be under discussion in Salem Monday.

“I can’t speak for legislative leadership, obviously,” he said. “But I’ve heard nothing about the CRC being put on the agenda for today’s special session.”

If lawmakers were to come up with a plan, the project would face a tight deadline to apply for federal New Start funding. All the paperwork would need to be ready in a matter of days.

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