As I have been saying, quite literally for years, the ENTIRE reason to replace the bridge was to get the camel's nose of light rail under the Clark County tent flap, and to do it without asking us.
Now, it seems, no less then the Supreme Court of Oregon agrees.... with me.
The Oregon Supreme Court has succeeded in doing what scores of public meetings, thousands of pages of reports, and endless public relations spin could not: Give us the original rationale behind the proposed $3.5 billion Columbia River Crossing.The irony here cannot be overlooked:
The answer, according to the court: The massive Interstate 5 bridge and freeway project is a “political necessity” to persuade Clark County residents to accept something they previously didn’t want—a MAX light-rail line from Portland to Vancouver. (To read the Feb. 16, 2012 Oregon Supreme Court decision regarding the Columbia River Crossing Project, click here (PDF, 18 pages))
.Project opponents filed a legal challenge to the way Metro, the regional planning agency, granted sweeping land-use approval to the project. The Oregon Supreme Court sided mostly with Metro.
.But Chief Justice Paul De Muniz, writing for the majority, highlighted an inconvenient set of facts for CRC backers..He wrote in the Feb. 16 opinion that most of the project—namely the 10-lane freeway bridge and new interchanges—was put forward to get Clark County to agree to the light-rail line..De Muniz cited statements that Metro made in the land-use process and Metro’s lawyer repeated before his court..“It was politically impossible for the light rail project to proceed without also building new interstate bridges across the Columbia River,” De Muniz wrote..“Or as Metro later summarized it: ‘There is no light rail without the freeway bridge[s] being replaced.’”.
Backers have cited traffic and safety issues as the top reasons to build the CRC. But the court ruling means those and other justifications were created after officials decided to give a sop to Clark County, now worth $2.5 billion.
Just today, the Mayor of Vancouver (And CRC Contractor employee) Tim Leavitt, had a propaganda story printed in the Reflector... as story that now appears to be quite discredited.
But then, Leavitt has never been real big on telling the truth.
There was never any question that replacing an already paid for, perfectly serviceable bridge was driven by anything EXCEPT light rail to the downtown, Vancouver, area; the Oregon Supreme Court now says as much.
The idea that this scam was anything BUT a light rail project has been beyond belief from the get-go, the concept that adding additional bridges both northwest of the current I-5 bridge location and east of I-205 was somehow not a better, cheaper, more realistic plan and a plan that wouldn't relieve pressure on the I-5 corridor far more efficiently than tearing down a paid for bridge simply defied disbelief.
That our elected government would rape its citizens in this way gives rise to a level of disgust for the rapists I had no idea I was capable of.
There is no defense for this project, just like there is no defense for refusing to allow us to vote.
Thanks to Lew for posting it on FB.