President Obama has announced that the Columbia River Crossing -- and three other infrastructure projects around the nation -- will be expedited.
Obama ordered the Office of Management and Budget to make the permitting and review process for the projects more effective and efficient. The aim is to save time. CRC spokeswoman Anne Pressentin doesn't expect the announcement will speed things up for the new I-5 span. But she says it does provide a lot more certainty, because the feds have now agreed to stick to a schedule for securing the half-dozen necessary permits.
Pressentin: "This is great news for the project. It really identifies this project as a national priority. So we see it as something that should be celebrated and we welcome the news."
Governors of both Oregon and Washington welcomed Obama's announcement. The president also wants to expedite the Point Defiance Bypass project. It re-routes passenger trains running between Seattle and Portland to an existing rail line along I-5.
Copyright 2012 Oregon Public Broadcasting