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Tolling for thee

Blunt talk from southwest Washington legislators this week, on the subject of a (badly needed) new Interstate 5 bridge across the Columbia River.

We’re talking here about a super-expensive project, deep into the billions. So how to finance?

The Vancouver Columbian reports that at a legislative pre-session breakfast, Representative Bill Fromhold, D-Vancouver, said “Tolls are going to be part of the mix.” On pretty much every big transport project, henceforth.

And Representative Deb Wallace, D-Vancouver: “If we want the bridge, we’re going to have to pay forward.”

This thing – it’s coming, eventually – is going to be wildly costly. Tolls are one option. But if that doesn’t sound like the right idea, the time for activism on alternatives is sooner rather than later.

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