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Bridging funding for Columbia River Crossing

first_imgKnock aside the steel beams and concrete, and there’s just one thing that the Columbia River Crossing will be built upon: money.And one of the largest public works projects in the Pacific Northwest has an unusual plan to get that money — one that relies on the federal government, two states and local tolls to pay the estimated $2.63 billion to $3.76 billion price tag.The CRC is coming of age in an era where paying for big infrastructure projects is growing increasingly difficult, so having a diversified portfolio works in the project’s favor, Director Nancy Boyd said. Not one partner — the states, the feds or the commuters — could pay for this by themselves, she said.“With the current state of the economy, trying to finance a project of this magnitude in any of those realms alone couldn’t be done,” Boyd said. “In my mind, you have to have all three.”U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has made it clear he’s a fan of the project, and President Barack Obama has mentioned it in his memos. A steady stream of state legislators on both sides of the Columbia River have said they’re also for seeing a new Interstate 5 bridge, light rail into downtown Vancouver and up to seven interchange improvements over five miles.last_img read more