Monday, August 19, 2013

Oregon State Treasurer hoses down Oregon CRC fever.

Look, at the end of the day, the biggest problems they have are two-fold:

1.  The state of Washington is not goinjg to allow them to do anything to the bridge we have and;

2.  The federal money is already gone.

There's games being played and bank being wasted.

WW's got the goods.

August 19th, 2013 By ANDREA DAMEWOOD | News | Posted In: PDX News, Politics, Transportation

Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler Calls Columbia River Crossing's September Deadline into Question

CRCA rendering of the proposed Columbia River Crossing, as seen from Vancouver - CRC
Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler is calling into question the ambitious September-or-bust timeline given by backers trying to sustain the ailing Columbia River Crossing.
In a terse letter (PDF) sent today to Gov. John Kitzhaber's top adviser on the project, Patricia McCaig, Wheeler says CRC staff are "going to have to make a great leap forward in a short period of time to provide legally adequate and reliable information to the Treasury and the people of Oregon."
McCaig is at the helm of a revamped attempt to build the CRC—one that includes new Interstate 5 bridges, Oregon interchange expansions and light rail to downtown Vancouver—despite Kitzhaber and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declaring the project dead on June 30. That's when Washington lawmakers walked away from a funding bill to pitch in their half of $900 million in state funding for a $3.4 billion megaproject.
But, as WW reported on July 17 the project managers kept the project alive by continuing to pursue key permits, including one asking the Coast Guard to grant permission to build a bridge that's too low for some major waterway users. On Aug. 6, McCaig told The Oregonianthe CRC, scaled down to $2.75 billion and paid for by Oregon taxpayers and tolls from commuters, is still in play.
The CRC says it must have a project in place by Sept. 30 to meet federal funding deadlines.
But Wheeler's letter lists dozens of questions that he says the project has failed to address, and is "especially concerned" about meeting that September deadline. Wheeler writes that communication between the Columbia River Crossing team and his office has been inconsistent.


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