Writings and observations

The bridge case

bridge
The Columbia River Crossing design/CRC site

Meant to note this last week, after finishing reading the article on the MAX …

Nigel Jaquiss’ latest piece in Willamette Week, “A Bridge Too False,” may be one of the most valuable pieces of news writing in Oregon this year. It pokes a series of holes in the usual narrative about the Columbia Crossing Bridge, the planned I-5 upgrade which, we are given to understand, is all but a done deal since the governors of Washington and Oregon approved a design plan earlier this year.

The narratives says that the bridge expansion will help solve a growing traffic congestion crisis at one of the country’s worst highway bottlenecks, is needed because the existing bridge will soon become dangerous, and adequate payment plans have been developed.

Jaquiss skewers all of these presumptions. He drew on well-established stats, often from the state of Oregon, to argue that the congestion is not as bad as often thought, is not getting worse, is nowhere near one of the worst in the country, is not particularly dangerous … and the money side of the equation is iffy. A must-read.

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