The New I5 Bridge Beauty or Beast

first_imgThe bistate Columbia River Crossing project has consumed $118 million without turning a single shovel full of dirt.What did we get for all that money?The Columbian requested all information related to project expenditures from the project office in Vancouver. This week, the newspaper received two discs full of hundreds of pages of invoices, receipts, time sheets, color-coded reports and other items describing expenditures since 2005.As we pore over the data, we’re also making it available to the general public at www.columbian.com/i5bridge. We invite you to page through more than 350 files. If you find something that raises questions or causes concern, drop a line to [email protected] crossing is the biggest single public works project in the region’s history.Now estimated to cost $3.6 billion, the overall project will replace the existing twin three-lane drawbridges with a 10-lane river crossing, extend Portland’s light-rail transit system into Vancouver and improve five miles of Interstate 5 across two states.State transportation officials will conduct two listening sessions today regarding their proposed recommendation for a composite truss bridge design. The first will be from noon to 2 p.m. at the Portland Expo Center, Hall D, 2060 N. Marine Drive in Portland. The second will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Washington Department of Transportation, 11018 N.E. 51st Circle in Vancouver. Comments also can be submitted online at columbiarivercrossing.org.The proposed design for a new Interstate 5 bridge is coming in for a rough review among architects and design professionals.They say the composite deck truss is, in a word, ugly.Worse, they say, the truss design may not turn out to be as inexpensive or as expedient as the more visually appealing cable-stayed alternative. That’s because an ugly bridge is more likely to generate continued citizen opposition and legal challenges, according to a summary of concerns by members of the bistate Columbia River Crossing’s urban design advisory group.last_img read more