Columbia River Crossing: 2005-2013

You’ve probably heard by now that the Columbia River Crossing is dead.

Writing the story Saturday night, after the Washington and Oregon governors pulled the plug on the $3.4 billion megaproject, felt a bit like writing an obituary.

That got us wondering: What would an actual obituary for the CRC look like? The Columbian usually charges for those. Oddly, no one has offered to buy an obit for the CRC.

Consider this one on us.

The Columbia River Crossing passed away on Saturday, June 29, 2013, surrounded by friends and enemies in Olympia. The CRC, as it became known, was born in 2005 to parents Wash and Oh Dot.

In honor of the CRC’s passing, the governor has ordered that all flags be flown no higher than 116 feet.

The CRC spent the early part of its life searching for an identity. It dreamed of grand bridge designs and high-capacity transit, its youthful exuberance projecting unknown potential.

In 2008, the CRC wedded light rail in an arranged marriage. The two remained committed to each other until the end, but never took their planned honeymoon to Clark College. The CRC’s parents watched proudly as it achieved other milestones through its life: a draft environmental impact statement in 2008, a final environmental impact statement and Record of Decision in 2011, and inclusion in the White House’s “We Can’t Wait” initiative in 2012.

The CRC fell gravely ill in 2013 and was placed on life support near the end of Washington’s legislative session. Ultimately, the governors of Washington and Oregon decided to end its suffering.

The CRC is survived by its grandfather, the Interstate 5 Bridge; its Uncle Glenn, the Interstate 205 Bridge; and its stepfather MAX in Portland.

Funeral arrangements are pending, though services will be held in both Vancouver and Portland. MAX was not invited to the Vancouver service.

In lieu of flowers, mourners are asked to buy a Good To Go! tolling pass and dream about what could have been.


Eric Florip

Eric Florip

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

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