VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Since the Washington state Legislature decided not to contribute funds to a new Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River, the Columbia River Crossing office in Vancouver has begun shutting down.
Spokeswoman Many Putney said 96 employees and consultants will move out by the end of the year. An estimated $170 million had been spent on planning the bridge.
"There isn't an option now to make a small change or take a piece out and keep going," she said.
The Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce was disappointed in the decision, a spokeswoman said Monday.
"At some point, not only do we have a responsibility, but it is in our best interests that we put the swords down and stop the fighting that has put a rift right through the center of this town," said Kelly Parker.
But opponents of the CRC project were relieved to hear the news.
"I don't think Vancouver wants MAX, and Portland wants to push it down Vancouver's throats," said critic Jesse Thompson, "so I'm happy for Vancouver."
The $3.4 billion project would have replaced the aging bridge, rebuilt freeway interchanges in Washington and Oregon and extended light rail from Portland to Vancouver.
KGW Reporter Tim Gordon contributed to this report.