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Four online meetings will be held later in January to discuss replacing the bridge over the Columbia River between Portland and Vancouver.

PMG FILE PHOTO - The Interstate Bridge between Oregon and Washington over the Columbia River.Anyone interested in the Oregon-Washington Interstate Bridge Replacement Program is invited to attend four online public meetings to be held later in January.

The program is exploring options for replacing the aging Interstate Bridge across the Columbia River between Portland and Vancouver with a seismically resilient, multimodal structure to provide improved mobility for people, goods and services. It is a high priority for Oregon and Washington. In late 2019, the governors and legislative leaders in both states directed the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Washington Department of Transportation to launch the program.

The meetings will be held by the program's Executive Steering Group , Community Advisory Group and Equity Advisory Group . All meetings will be hosted in Zoom to follow the states' social distancing guidelines for slowing the spread of COVID-19. They will also be livestreamed on YouTube, and those without Internet access can call in to listen.

The meetings are intended to provide opportunities for the program to engage with the public, stakeholders and partnering agencies from both states in a solution that best serves the complex needs of all users. The meeting schedule and group descriptions are as follows:

Executive Steering Group: 1-3 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 20 — This 12-member steering group provides regional leadership recommendations on key program issues of importance to the community. It includes elected officials and senior representatives from both state departments of transportation, TriMet, C-TRAN, Oregon Metro, the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council, the cities of Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, and the Ports of Portland and Vancouver. These agencies have a direct delivery or operational role in the integrated, multimodal transportation system around the Interstate Bridge. A community representative from each state also serves on the group.

Equity Advisory Group: 5:30-7:30 p.m. p.m. (time to be confirmed), Monday, Jan. 25 — The Equity Advisory Group (EAG) includes approximately 30 members with equity expertise and/or lived experience, with balanced representation from Oregon and Washington. This group makes recommendations regarding processes, policies, and decisions on program development work that may affect historically underrepresented and/or underserved communities. The selection process for members is under way, and representatives will be announced prior to the Jan. 25 meeting.

Community Advisory Group: 4-6 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 27 — Around 30 members make up the Community Advisory Group (CAG), including organizations and individuals representing a diverse range of stakeholder perspectives, with balanced representation from both Oregon and Washington. This group provides input and develops recommendations to ensure that program outcomes reflect community needs, values and priorities. The selection process for members is under way, with representatives to be announced ahead of the Jan. 27 meeting.

A joint orientation to provide background on the program and process will also be held on Saturday, Jan. 30, for members of the Community Advisory Group and Equity Advisory Group. This meeting will take place via Zoom from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and it will be livestreamed on YouTube for the public.

Public input on agenda items at regular meetings of the steering and advisory groups is welcome and can be shared via email, phone or online during each full meeting. More information can be found here.


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