OLYMPIA/SALEM – The Oregon and Washington transportation departments issued a draft recommendation today to the two state governors for a deck truss bridge for the Columbia River Crossing because it is the only bridge that meets all the criteria identified by the governors.
Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond and Oregon Transportation Director Matt Garrett made their draft recommendation to Govs. Chris Gregoire of Washington and John Kitzhaber of Oregon, following a three-month review by a 16-member panel of national experts and additional technical review on the panel’s report.
The panel of expert bridge designers and engineers released a report in February that offered three bridge types that panel members found to be less risky and potentially less expensive to construct than the proposed CRC bridge type.
The governors responded immediately by adopting the panel’s recommendation to discontinue any further design work on the current CRC bridge type. They also asked their state transportation departments to perform an expedited review of the panel’s three recommended bridge types – the tied arch, cable-stayed and deck truss.
“The deck truss is the safest path for staying on schedule and has the least overall risk,” said Tom Warne, chair of the CRC Bridge Review Panel, in a presentation to project sponsors earlier this month.
Gregoire and Kitzhaber directed the recommendation be based on a bridge type that is most affordable, maintains the project schedule, minimizes environmental impacts, honors commitments made to communities in both states, and provides the least risk.
Hammond and Garrett said today the deck truss design is the only one of the three designs offered by the panel that meets the needs of both states and the criteria established by the governors, because it:
· Is the most affordable
· Allows the project to stay on schedule
· Adheres to the current environmental commitments
· Builds on the resources spent to date
· Has the least impact in the river
· Will attract multiple contractors, thus giving the public the most competitive prices
· Provides the overall least risky path forward
“The deck truss bridge allows us to take advantage of all the work done to date and move forward quickly,” Hammond said.
“The expert bridge panel identified three bridge types that would work across the Columbia. The deck truss bridge has the smallest footprint, maintains our commitment to protecting the river, and is affordable,” Garrett said. “Once we have the decision about bridge type in hand, we can move to the aesthetic and design discussion.”
The transportation departments now seek public review and comment on the draft recommendation before making their final recommendation to the governors in mid-March. Public comment meetings are scheduled on March 10 in Portland and Vancouver. Comments also can be submitted online.
The departments’ draft recommendation is posted online: http://www.columbiarivercrossing.org/FileLibrary/GeneralProjectDocs/DOTs_Draft Recommendation.pdf
About the project
CRC is a long-term, comprehensive project to reduce congestion, enhance mobility and improve safety on I-5 between SR 500 in Vancouver, Wash., and Columbia Boulevard in Portland. The project will replace the I-5 bridge, extend light rail to Vancouver, improve closely-spaced interchanges and enhance the pedestrian and bicycle path between the two cities. The project will be funded by federal and state sources, as well as future tolls.
Written comments may be submitted on the CRC project at any time at email@example.com. More information is available on the CRC project Web site: www.columbiarivercrossing.org.
ADA and Title VI Notice: Accommodations for people with disabilities or in need of language translation can be arranged with advance notice by calling CRC at 866-396-2726 or through the Telecommunications Relay Service at 7-1-1.
CRC ensures full compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by prohibiting discrimination against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin or sex in the provision of benefits and services resulting from its federally assisted programs and activities. For questions regarding Title VI Programs, you may contact 360-705-7098 or 503-986-4350.