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Use of traffic projections influenced by Columbia River Crossing allowed ODOT to make stronger case.

OPB PHOTO - Interstate 5 runs through the Rose Quarter in Portland, Oregon, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017.The $2.8 billion project to build a new Interstate 5 Bridge across the Columbia River died nearly six years ago, the victim of political infighting and controversy over its huge cost and environmental impact.

But the Columbia River Crossing still lives — at least in the traffic projections of the Oregon Department of Transportation.

ODOT acknowledged Tuesday that its traffic modeling for another freeway project — a $500 million upgrade to I-5 in Portland's Rose Quarter area — assumes that the Columbia River Crossing will still be built.

Megan Channell, the manager for the Rose Quarter project, said traffic modeling includes all of the road projects in the Portland region's transportation plan, "including the CRC … We're sort of staying with what the adopted projects are."

Channell disclosed the CRC traffic assumptions after opponents of the Rose Quarter project found hints of it in technical reports that ODOT released under pressure.

Click here to read the rest of the story by OPB, a media partner of the Portland Tribune.

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