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PORTLAND -- Forget light rail, rebuild the Sellwood Bridge instead, suggests Allen Alley, a Republican running for governor.

Alley said as governor, he would try to take all the money set aside for the Portland-Milwaukie light rail line and spend it on the aging Sellwood Bridge.

The light rail line is planned to travel over a new non-car traffic bridge across the Willamette River. The state legislature has committed $250 million in bond money, backed by the lotter, to help pay for the project.

Given the Sellwood Bridge's dire state of disrepair, Alley said it's time to reconsider the light rail expansion

Lottery money is very flexible, he said. It can be used for schools. It can be used for higher education. It can be used for just about anything.

TriMet says the legislature has already decided the best use of the money is for that future light rail line. The transit agency says the project will generate 12,000 jobs and greatly improve regional transit.

Multnomah County owns the Sellwood Bridge and is raising money to replace the bridge, in part through vehicle license fees.

MORE: Sellwood Bridge Project website

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