OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are moving forward with plans to allow tolls on the proposed Columbia River Crossing between Portland and Vancouver. The project will cost as much as $3.5 billion and drivers will likely bear some of that cost. Azusa Uchikura has more from Olympia.
The Oregon Department of Transportation already has the authority to set tolls. But in Washington, legislators must first vote to allow that to happen. If this legislation passes, Washington and Oregon transportation officials will figure out a price for the toll. The money will go to projects on the bridge and intersections around it. Representative Jim Moeller, whose district is just across the bridge from Portland, is the chief sponsor of the tolling bill.
Moeller: “60,000 of my constituents go there everyday to work and back. So it’s very important to my district that we find a solution to the on-going issues regarding mobility, congestion, and safety.”
This wouldn’t be the first time the I-5 bridge would see a toll. The original Vancouver to Portland span opened in 1917 with a toll. And so did the identical second bridge built in 1958.
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