PORTLAND The controversial I-5 bridge will not be 12 lanes after all, according to the latest proposal, and the impact to Hayden Island will be much smaller.
Those two important decisions were made by key stakeholders in the project who met Monday morning.
The federal government, the State of Oregon, the State of Washington, metro and transit agencies and leaders from several cities have been working for quite some time on deciding how to build a potential $4 billion replacement bridge over the Columbia River that will connect the two states.
Monday, after months of debate, the planners decided a 12-lane bridge would be too wide and not necessary to accomplish the transportation goals set forth in this project.
So for now, the focus will be on a 10-lane bridge.
There's still conversation in the community. I hear that we're making political and biased decisions and I think it's important to underscore that we've arrived today at this point because the data shows us that indeed this works, explained Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt.
In another significant development, a small arterial bridge was proposed between the Expo Center in North Portland and Jantzen Beach. This would allow drivers to travel between those two locations without having to enter I-5 and it would also narrow the I-5 interchange at Hayden Island.
Early next year after an environmental impact statement is complete, the federal government will likely sign off on the project.
MORE: Columbia River Crossingofficial project web site