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Portland-Vancouver: third Columbia crossing

Started by Landshark, February 09, 2011, 07:09:20 PM

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A group that supports a third Columbia crossing as opposed to a new I-5 bridge has been launched:


Interesting idea.  I wouldn't mind seeing this bridge, as it would increase connectivity in the Portland area and serve the industrial areas in St Johns.  However, I have some issues with the concept:

- As it doesn't reconnect with I-5 in Portland, it doesn't serve as an alternative for through traffic across the Interstate Bridges, so all the problems on those bridges (drawbridges, age, lack of capacity) aren't really alleviated.

- Exactly how much commercial traffic leaves St Johns for US 30 west?  Seems to me the St Johns bridge can handle the St Helens/Astoria-bound traffic , and the Southern bridge isn't necessary.

- The Vancouver viaduct?  Are you kidding me?  Seems to me the arterial they studied rejoining I-5 near Ridgefield is a vastly more practical alternative.

So while I wouldn't mind seeing the third bridge built in addition to a new I-5 bridge, it is not a valid replacement for it.  And I'll be mildly surprised if that's built anytime soon.


Dumb. What a horrible idea. These guys have been debunked again and again but are still trying to push this pipe dream through. Vancouver will never allow a viaduct to completely decimate their downtown. To say nothing of what Portland would think of such a highway.

The goal should be how to design a Columbia River Crossing that doesn't push the bottleneck down to Rose Quarter once it's built. ODOT has already begun the drumbeat of widening I-5 to 3 lanes each way between I-405 and I-84.


I think the plan is a step in the right direction.  I personally would like to see a western bypass of Portland that would link Washington County to Washington State.  That would relieve some of the wasted traffic flowing through downtown Portland.  

Another crossing of the Columbia at the BNRR crossing would also be nice, but I agree, a viaduct would destroy downtown Vancouver.  If a true western bypass was already in place, then there would be less need to connect the BNRR crossing to the freeways system as surface streets would be able to handle much of the traffic.  A city arterial level crossing, with LRT, bike lanes, and pedestrian lanes would actually be a boon to downtown Vancouver.  


A Portland-Vancouver crossing west of I-5 would need to be west of the BNRR bridge, and essentially skirt between downtown Vancover and Lake Vancouver and hook in at I-5 at either WA 500 (39th St) or go north through Fruit Valley and merge at I-205. Both present their problems and potential legions of NIMBYs; I prefer the WA 500 alignment.

On the Portland side, it'd have to loosely follow Marine Dr/Lombard St and cross the Willamette River to the north of the St. Johns Bridge... and Linnton's in the way, not to mention the challenge of crossing the Tualatin Mountains to get to US 26.

Any serious discussion about this should take place in Fiction Highways, though I will note that this alignment was a legitimate proposal set forth by CRAGG (Columbia River Area Government, Metro's predecessor) in 1970 and was dubbed as the Rivergate Freeway.

As for the proposal above by Third Bridge Now, it's a bad location that does nothing to relieve the problems along the US 30 portion of I-5, nor does it even help with the flow of traffic to/from Portland/Vancouver, as it essentially dumps cross-river traffic into the Portland street grid.


Quote from: Landshark on February 18, 2011, 07:40:08 PM
I think the plan is a step in the right direction.  I personally would like to see a western bypass of Portland that would link Washington County to Washington State.  That would relieve some of the wasted traffic flowing through downtown Portland.

Given the opposition to new roads by Multnomah County and from taking up any more farmland in Marion County, I'd suggest a route that starts north of Albany at I-5 and the South Jefferson Exit, continues northwest across the Willamette River into Polk County (without entering either Benton or Marion Counties), then up inbetween Monmouth and Independence, to Rickreall, then along Highway 99W to Amity, skirting around Amity and then following Highway 223 to southwest of the McMinnville Airport, then north to Highway 47, following Highway 47 to Gaston (skirting around Carlton, and using the old railroad grade to the east of Yamhill).  From Gaston, northeasterly inbetween Cornelius and Hillsboro, continuing northeasterly to pass to the north of Hillsboro Airport and east of North Plains.  Then north, skirting the Washington/Multnomah County Line (just inside Washington County, however) into Columbia County, to the west of Scapoose and St. Helens before turning northeast on Deer Island and crossing the Columbia River, meeting back with I-5 south of Kalama.  Total distance would be 100 miles.,-122.508545&spn=2.498138,5.817261&z=8


Hmm... A third crossing.

First solution would be alleviating the I-5 traffic from Vancouver into Downtown Portland. There's too many cars and not enough lanes. The Interstate Bridge is a drawbridge and I think that's ridiculous on an interstate.

So for me, I'd expand I-5 to four lanes in each direction from NE 78th Street in Hazel Dell to the southern terminus of I-405. I'd also expand I-84 to four lanes in each direction from the I-205 interchange to it's terminus. I'd build the Interstate Bridge and start it at the Mill Plain Exit using collector/distributor ramps to serve Mill Plain and SR-14. This way, the bridge could, in theory, be high enough for barges to pass through without necessitating a draw bridge.

I'd also expand SR-14 to four lanes (using an HOV lane) in each direction from I-205 to I-5.

Could you imagine getting directions from a guy with tourettes?

KEK Inc.

I saw this booth at the Fort during Independence Day.  A viaduct through downtown was laughable, but I do support a third bridge. 

You could run an I-805 parallel to Fruit Valley Rd./Lakeshore and follow Vancouver Lake west of Felida and then intercept I-5 north of Salmon Creek.  You can also extend WA-14 from I-5 to I-905.  I think I-905 should go more towards Washington Co., so it should go towards Sauvie Island rather than Portland and possibly go through the hills to Hillsboro.  This will save a dickton of time if I want to go to the beach from Vancouver, since I don't have to overshoot south to get to US-26. 

Frankly, I've never ran into congestion on WA-14 until you hit I-5, but that's because of the bridge.  I think WA-500 is a bigger concern than widening WA-14. 
Take the road less traveled.


A new, wider, high-level span should be built for I-5 before any 3rd crossing is considered here.  Looks like they can do it immediately east of the existing spans without anything more than parking lots in the way.

How often are those drawbridges used theses days?  I'd expect most of the commercial traffic to be in the form of barges that can slide under the existing spans, so new bridges might not need to be super high.
"That's just like... your opinion, man."



The Rose Quarter Bottleneck should be addressed before the Interstate Bridge is replaced. In the interim, a third crossing would be helpful -- either east of I-205 around 181st or 238th (Oregon side for both) or west of I-5 near Rivergate.

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