A bill that would restart the process of replacing the 100-year-old Interstate 5 bridge across the Columbia River is on its way to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk.
The Senate bill cleared the Washington House on Thursday afternoon by a vote of 59-37.
“It starts the conversation and utilizes some of the work that’s been done in the past to get us to a point where we can replace the I-5 bridge,” said Rep. Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver.
SB 5806 would set aside $350,000 dollars to renew discussions of replacing the aging bridge between Washington to Oregon. It would also create an inventory of past work that would be compiled in a legislative report by Dec. 1.
“We have valuable existing data that can expedite our efforts to move forward with a new bridge,” said state Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, in a statement. “Culling this data can get us off to a running start as opposed to starting from scratch.”
The bill does not specify plans for light rail but says the legislative action committee formed to examine the issue will consider all potential mass transit options.
Disputes over public transportation across the bridge soured the failed Columbia River Crossing project between Oregon and Washington four years ago.