A new committee with legislators from Oregon and Washington met for the first time Friday to discuss replacing the Interstate 5 bridge. After a tour of the 100-year-old bridge, all 16 members of the bipartisan group held a public hearing at Vancouver City Hall.
On Friday, Oregon lawmakers on the committee spoke of scar tissue remaining from the last attempt to replace the bridge. In 2013, Republican lawmakers from southwest Washington walked away from the $3 billion plan to replace the bridge, called the Columbia River Crossing, essentially killing the project.
"I'm particularly interested in not repeating the mistakes that were made the last time around," said Oregon Sen. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario.
The meeting signals a move forward for the two states and a second chance at restarting a conversation on an I-5 bridge replacement. The bridge was described Friday by transportation officials as "functionally obsolete" and "seismically vulnerable."
Oregon Public Broadcasting is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. You can read the rest of their story here.
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