As Washington shows early signs of getting serious about replacing the Interstate 5 bridge, Oregon's lawmakers said Wednesday, March 31, they want to be wooed.
Oregon still feels like "the bride left waiting at the altar," said Sen. Lee Beyer, D-Springfield, after the Washington State Senate infamously refused in 2013 to fund a replacement for the century-old bridge.
And because the massive project will have a massive price tag, Oregon lawmakers first want to see proposals from their neighbors to the north, and likewise see what may come from the Biden Administration's newly revealed infrastructure plan.
"It's a little bit of a 'Show us you're serious,'" said Beyer, who co-chairs Oregon's joint committee on transportation.
On Wednesday, Washington's House transportation committee revealed it could spend $1 billion on replacing the Interstate 5 bridge — the largest chunk of funding in a sweeping plan to invest billions in dozens of state projects over the next 16 years.
The Washington House's plan gels with that state Senate's figures. On Jan. 28, senators on their transportation committee estimated Washington would kick in $1.2 billion.
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