Oregon’s support for Columbia River Crossing may hinge on Monday hearing

crc highwayThe Portland region has been talking for 15 years about a proposal to expand Interstate 5 in North Portland and Vancouver, replace the Interstate Bridge and extend the Yellow Line to Vancouver.

But until now, nobody’s been asked to pay for it.

Supporters and opponents of the Columbia River Crossing are calling in all their cards for a President’s Day hearing in Salem Monday afternoon on a bill that would allow Oregon to borrow enough money to start work on the project.

As reported this week by The Oregonian, the bill doesn’t include any way to pay for the project once the state has committed to borrowing an estimated $450 million for it. Almost all trade-offs for the state would be postponed until 2015, after construction has begun.

BikePortland has details on Monday’s 3 p.m. hearing from a skeptical perspective, including details on groups that are organizing carpools to testify in opposition. The Port of Portland, which supports the project, is circulating contact information for key legislators. You can read (and edit) a summary of the project on our wiki page about the CRC.

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