PORTLAND, Ore. -- Folks on Hayden Island are feeling a bit more positive about the Columbia River Crossing bridge project following a meeting Friday morning.
Last month, island residents were fired up over cost cutting moves that took away the islands only grocery store and pharmacy.
Friday morning, bridge project sponsors told those residents they would work to save important services on the island.
Hayden island residents called it a start but said there was much to accomplish.
Hayden Island resident and Portland City Council candidate Ed Garren wants the federal government to pay a much bigger chunk of the $3.5 billion project.
Right now, estimates put federal funds at about $400 million.
The federal government should pay a much bigger share because this is an interstate highway, Garren said. It's not like some kind of side road just for Oregon and Washington residents.
Council Chairman Henry Hewitt was pleased with the progress toward addressing the concerns of Hayden Island residents.
I'm very pleased. I think we've shown we're willing to make changes and accommodate what's needed on Hayden Island, he added.
Friday's meeting was largely a discussion about financing the bridge and no public comment was allowed.
The council must determine how to fund the $3.5 billion project through a combination of federal, state and local funding - which would likely come from toll charges.
Business leaders are concerned that the project's slow pace could limit federal funding; however, both mayors of Vancouver and Portland seek additional changes to the current plan.
The next project sponsors council meeting is set for March 12.