The Washington State Legislature has done what no one has been able to do since the Columbia River Crossing Project transformed into what John Charles of the Cascade Policy Institute calls Zombie Status: they killed it.
CRC Opponents say they’re “stunned.” I’ll bet they are. It’s tough to say goodbye to the bottomless money bucket that provided insiders with the dollars to give to friends for “studies” that couldn’t anticipate how high the Coast Guard needed the bridge or predict how low it should be to accommodate the traffic from the Pearson Airfield.
The CRC was a conveyance for light rail only with a few spiffs for truckers thrown in for good measure. Proponents refused to relinquish the light rail portion of their plan because it was always funded, not as a highway project, but as a TRANSPORTATION project. They did that on purpose you understand to keep the loot rail cash going to friends and favored developers and force Portland style planning on Clark County. It was estimated to cost more than $10 billion when the debt service is figured in. It probably would have been more.
Jim Moeller is quoted here in a hilarious take on the implosion:
“We need to start again,” said Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, a supporter who still favors light rail. The next plan, he said, “Has to engage the general public better, has to be more inspiring, less utilitarian, something that people want to leave behind … for their children, or their children’s children.”
Leaving monuments is more important than leaving kids a more prosperous place to live and work? And to say he wants it to be “less utilitarian”? How about less AUTHORITARIAN, Jim? Maybe his bow-tie is too tight.
And read Oregon Governor Kitzhaber’s take:
“I have asked ODOT to review all of the work on the Oregon side of the project to determine if any stand-alone investments could be made to improve safety and reduce congestion on a smaller scale,” the governor said in his statement. “That work will be subject for further legislative review.”
This is a laugh out loud joke of a comment. Meant only for the low information types who haven’t been paying attention to the scheme behind the bridge for all these years.
“Improve safety”? What’s stopping you from taking transportation dollars you’ve been ‘jacking for light rail and putting them into expanding I-5 to get rid of a bottleneck?
Don’t get me started on the separate ‘pots of money’ speech we get at these times when someone is impertinent to ask what I just have asked. We know that you can get that money—IF YOU ASK FOR IT. But Oregon doesn’t ask for it by design. Our money that we pour into gas taxes, therefore, is given away to build light rail projects.
The fiasco is over.The Zombie is dead. The apocalypse has come for the Columbia River Crossing. Now let’s build a crossing to get real people across for as little money as possible. You know, what you politicians should have been doing in the first place.