Letter to the Editor for May 31, 2011

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category icon Letters to the Editor

Bridging the Gaps over the river

A public forum, “Bridging the Gaps”, to discuss options for bridges across the Columbia River, will be held on Saturday June 4 at 1 PM at the LifePoint Campus, next to the new Costco. Experts and elected officials from both states will participate, and questions from the public are encouraged.

A replacement I-5 bridge over the river is proposed that is estimated to cost $3.6 to $8.7 billion. In comparison, the 205 bridge was built for about $169 million. Planners insist light rail should be included, which is about a third of the cost. Individual city representatives from Camas and Washougal voted for the I-5 bridge replacement with light rail, without local area hearings, and without the full city councils’ vote. Since Oregon, Washington, and the “other Washington” face the largest deficits ever, where will the money come from?

The Washington Legislature acted to permit tolls on roadways and bridges, both ways. Never ending tolls. Tolling both the I-5 and I-205 bridges is recommended so that drivers can’t avoid tolls. Rates as high as $7 one-way have been suggested, in part to cover the high cost of collecting tolls. What about a bridge between east Clark County and Oregon?

This forum is an opportunity for citizens to join the conversation on how to cross the Columbia River.

Margaret Tweet, Camas

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