Questions surround I-5 bridge replacement
In seeking to replace the Interstate 5 (I-5) Bridge, the Bi-state Bridge Committee needs to answer one critical question: Is this simply a resurrection of the flawed Columbia River Crossing (CRC) and its “light rail project in search of a bridge?” Southwest Washington legislators said this was about “process” and there was “no specific project.” Washington state Sen. Ann Rivers said this wasn’t the CRC.
But Oregon legislators said nothing regarding light rail being included or excluded.
What’s in the public record? Gov. Kate Brown said this fall: “no light rail, no bridge.” Portland Metro’s JPACT 2040 transportation plan spends $4.1 billion for a bridge and light rail into Vancouver. Our own RTC’s 2035 transportation plan includes a new bridge and light rail into Vancouver.
What’s not in the public plans? A third bridge across the Columbia River and a new transportation corridor. That is what’s truly needed. Oregon refuses to add new through-lanes to I-5 at the Rose Quarter. They’ll waste half the $450 million creating real estate by building two concrete lids over the top of I-5. That does nothing to improve traffic congestion.
Transportation architect Kevin Peterson said a six-lane (each direction) bridge would be needed by 2030. But that would only work “if” Oregon added one to two additional lanes at the Rose Quarter, the region’s second largest bottleneck. Knowing Portland’s aversion to adding new lanes in the downtown area, Peterson wisely recommends building new transportation corridors and a third bridge across the Columbia River.
Citizen Steve Wallace told the legislators on the Bi-state Bridge Committee: “we need lanes, not trains.” He is exactly right. Only 1,437 people use C-TRAN’s express buses to Portland. Mass transit won’t solve the traffic congestion problem. New lanes and new bridges and transportation corridors will reduce traffic congestion.
John Ley, Camas
Jobs not worth selling out future generations
It’s interesting, don’t you think? Recently, Cowlitz County, along with many other communities, were stopped by China over recycling plastic (because China) will no longer take it. Even now, counties and states are passing laws to limit the use of various plastics. Then why would we as a whole want to send methanol to China so they can make more plastic? And why wouldn’t China use this methanol for other purposes? Let’s put our thinking caps on and take our blinders off. We’re selling out our future generations and the environment for what? A few jobs and the almighty dollar? This methanol refinery isn’t worth it. Say no to the methanol refinery.
Kim Metzger, Kalama, Washington
Methanol refinery has reader ‘seeing red’
I’m seeing red. Northwest Innovation Works proposes to build the world’s largest fracked gas to methanol refinery in Kalama, Washington, while my kids and their entire generation are haunted and unfairly burdened by the threat of catastrophic climate change. With heavy hearts, we watch the first waves of devastation close to home and all around the world, knowing we humans have to be “innovative” in the real sense — but the absurd waste of our precious time fighting fracked gas. With carefully calculated distortions in what should have been a diligent and impartial analysis in the SEPA review process, NWIW-hired Lifecycle Associates is determined to convince us in the DSEIS — as poorly done as for PSE’s LNG in Tacoma — that their project would actually be “good” for the environment. Wow.
Rachael Hogan, Seattle