Common Sense Alternative
From Portland Afoot
The self-described Common Sense Alternative, or CSA, to the Columbia River Crossing is a proposal described by architect George Crandall to replace the Interstate Bridge replacement plans with a much cheaper plan to:
- strengthen the existing spans against earthquakes
- add a mid-stream lift span to the railroad bridge just downstream of the I-5 Bridge
- build new local bridges, including light rail and bicycle paths, between west Vancouver and Hayden Island, and between Hayden Island and Kenton
- reduce highway commute trips with commuter rail service from downtown Vancouver to downtown Portland on the BNSF rail line.
According to Crandall, these jobs could be completed for $1.8 billion, or $800 million less than the low cost estimate for the proposed Columbia River Crossing, while accomplishing the same basic goals without additional highway capacity.
 New lift span for railroad bridge
According to Crandall, adding a new mid-stream lift span to the railroad bridge would cost $42 million and eliminate all I-5 bridge lifts for vehicles of 60 feet or less, except during high-water periods.
At 2004 rates, that would eliminate 550, or 91 percent, of the 604 annual bridge lifts.
 Video about the CSA
This video, by CRC skeptic Spencer Boomhower, lays out the supposed advantages of the CSA plan. It's a follow-up to Boomhower's earlier video dissecting possible problems with the CRC.
 Slideshow about the CSA
Crandall and Joe Cortright presented this slideshow about the Common Sense Alternative and problems with the CRC's traffic projections at a discussion sponsored by Portland Monthly in November 2010.
 Official responses
In 2011, Mayor Sam Adams told Oregonian columnist Joseph Rose that Crandall's was a "great vision ... but the fact is the federal government is not going to fund two bridges and it doesn’t fund local bridges."
Crandall denied Adams, saying "federal funds can be used to finance the CSA bridges" but offering no further explanation.
Did you find this page useful? Could it get better? You're meeting Portland Afoot in its toddlerhood! You can help build this free online guide to low-car life in PDX by clicking "edit" in the right sidebar and adding what you know. Or just leave your questions or ideas below. Thanks for visiting!