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VANCOUVER -- With a 2-1 vote, Clack County commissioners have approved placing an advisory vote on November's ballot to gauge public interest on a third bridge over the Columbia River.

The Columbian reports that with Tuesday's vote, residents will weigh in on building a bridge in the east part of the county for an estimated $860 million.

This is the latest episode in a protracted debate on how to relieve congestion between southwest Washington and the Portland area.

More: Vancouver council opposes new bridge

Transportation officials in the two states have backed a plan to revamp the Interstate 5 crossing, but those efforts were stifled after Washington lawmakers balked at authorizing money.

That bridge plan includes light rail and cost an estimated $2.9 billion, but it would come with federal money.

Backers of a third bridge argue it's a more affordable crossing.

Complete coverage: Columbia River Crossing

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