All Politics is Local

Columbia River Crossing, Jr.

I figure I haven’t written my last story about the Columbia River Crossing. But I didn’t see this one coming.

This week’s Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council meeting included a look at the Skamania County and Klickitat County regional transportation plans. Not exactly A1 material for us. Then I saw the project ranked as the top priority in Klickitat County’s plan — the “Columbia River Crossing.”

Wait, what? Did anyone tell Klickitat County? Is it April Fools’ Day?

No, not that Columbia River Crossing. Turns out, the proposed replacement of the Hood River Bridge has also been referred to as, ahem, the Columbia River Crossing. That span, of course, crosses the Columbia River between White Salmon and Hood River, Ore.

The regional plan lists the project cost as $10 million, but only for design work and a Final Environmental Impact Statement. Sounds like a bargain to me, considering it took more than $133 million to get our CRC to that point in 2011. The proposed Interstate 5 Bridge replacement is now shutting down.

The cost to actually replace the aging Hood River Bridge is estimated at $210 million. If only Washington and Oregon had a spare $200 million lying around somewhere…

Eric Florip

I'm the environment/transportation reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. Contact me at eric.florip@columbian.com or 360-735-4541.

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