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Author Topic: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)  (Read 36326 times)

Tarkus

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I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« on: March 14, 2009, 04:18:13 PM »

Well, this seems to be a hot topic here . . . there's a plan to replace the I-5 Interstate Bridge over the Columbia River, separating Portland, OR from Vancouver, WA.

The existing bridge is a 6-lane draw bridge dating from the US-99 days, and is grandfathered into the Interstate system as such.  The proposed new "Columbia River Crossing" bridge is supposed to have 12 lanes--apparently 6 main line ones and 6 auxiliary lanes, and there's some talk about running a northern MAX Yellow Line extension down it. 

Here's the catch, though . . . it's estimated to cost $4.2 billion, and the City of Portland wants both the new I-5 bridge as well as the Glenn Jackson Bridge on I-205 to be tolled.  Maybe some of my fellow roadgeeks know a little more, but even if they are approved under the SAFETEA-LU-authorized Interstate System Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Pilot Program, wouldn't they lose federal maintenance funding?

-Alex (Tarkus)
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DrZoidberg

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Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2009, 12:49:59 AM »

I heard something about this on the local news.  It's a bit ironic that they want to build the new bridge to relieve traffic, but putting up tolls would cause more traffic, IMO.

I think something for the "only in Portland" file is that opponents are strongly urging ODOT to add some means of bike transportation on the reconstruction.  :spin:
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rawr apples

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Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2009, 12:59:20 AM »

I thought that the design had bike lanes on it already?

Anyways, how would those auxilary lanes work exactly? would they open when traffic is bad just to bring it back down to 6 lanes at the other side? Im not getting it..
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DrZoidberg

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Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2009, 01:03:00 AM »

Quote
Anyways, how would those auxilary lanes work exactly? would they open when traffic is bad just to bring it back down to 6 lanes at the other side? Im not getting it..

I'm not sure, but you bring up a good point.  Even if there are 6 lanes in one direction on the bridge....especially southbound....there will still be that horrible bottleneck at Delta Park and the Rose Garden.
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V'Ger

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Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2009, 02:11:41 AM »

Depending on the placement of toll booths, they can sometimes actually help traffic by acting as metering lights for the bridge. I'm not sure where they would plan to put them though.
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ComputerGuy

Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2009, 05:58:45 PM »

I won't like a new bridge...the old one is just fine and really historic!
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rawr apples

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Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2009, 06:05:55 PM »

its a drawbridge thats congested daily and honestly looks like crap. driving across it I kept getting scared that I was gonna hit either the metal poles above me or to the side of me, or hit a car next to me. way too much metal.
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Alex

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Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2009, 11:08:11 AM »

I don't care for any Interstate bridge, especially larger ones over navigable bodies of water, without shoulders. The bridge should be replaced, as much as I like spans with superstructure.

ComputerGuy

Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2009, 02:29:45 PM »

BTW, look at the concept image I found:

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V'Ger

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Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2009, 08:31:56 PM »

That looks like an incredibly high bridge. I wonder what the vertical clearance is at the highest point.
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ComputerGuy

Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2009, 08:37:47 PM »

If it was built, it'd look ugly, very ugly...
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V'Ger

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Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2009, 08:44:00 PM »

Not necassarily, it looks a lot like the new Benicia bridge in California.


« Last Edit: March 22, 2009, 08:51:09 PM by voyager »
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Alex

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Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2009, 08:45:04 PM »

Unfortunately the current bridge is very ugly, though I like the superstructure.

V'Ger

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Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2009, 09:58:42 PM »

Definitely, I always thought that bridge looked really odd.
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ComputerGuy

Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2009, 10:19:36 PM »

Hmmm...I change my mind! I'd like a new bridge...maybe if they added a cable stayed bridge, I'd be happier! :biggrin:
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Alex

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Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2009, 10:54:28 PM »

Well the new bridge is boring because it has no "signature" look, but I think in Portland that's probably fine considering all of the other things around.

What would be nice about that project are the improved ramps with Washington 14. Andy and I got to experience the current ones and almost got nailed by another driver in the process. Take a look at the tight configuration.

ComputerGuy

Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2009, 11:22:25 PM »

Ugh..that sure is a mess :ded:
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Tarkus

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Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2009, 03:14:43 AM »

I-5 is not going to get upgraded through North Portland unless there's a dramatic shift in thinking in the city, so there's pretty much always going to be a bottleneck there no matter what.  The freeway is woefully substandard through there, and I-5 just north of the I-405/Fremont Bridge interchange is actually the most traveled-on section of highway in all of Oregon (right around 200,000 ADT).

I'd rather see them spend the money building a (badly needed) westside freeway, allowing a more direct connection between Washington County and Washington State.  Have it connect to I-205 on the south end and WA-14 on the north end.  Perhaps they could piggyback the rail bridge over Hayden Island. 

They could probably get a good start on that with the $4.2 billion.  It'd get people off that substandard stretch of I-5.  Perhaps initially, to save money, it could be built merely to expressway standards over the West Hills.

-Alex (Tarkus)

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DrZoidberg

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Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2009, 12:29:38 AM »

Great idea, Tarkus, about the westside bypass, but I don't ever see ODOT thinking that far forward.  They'll just opt for more mass transit.  :no:

The bottleneck on I-5 southbound at Delta Park and the Rose Garden are some of the worst I've seen in all my travels.
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Tarkus

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Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2009, 02:38:50 AM »

I don't think ODOT's so much to blame for the "mass transit-only" option.  That's more the doing of the City of Portland and the Metro Council.

If the Metro Council's planning functionality could be taken away--which, in theory, could be done by a charter amendment--that would eliminate some of the obstacles.  (Or better yet, Washington County could just disregard them entirely and render them useless.)

The route could be designed so as to completely avoid the Portland City Limits, so the opposition there would, at least in theory, be irrelevant.  Washington County and the cities within it might put up a little resistance (Sherwood and Wilsonville have already buffeted the whole I-5/OR-99W connector), but Multnomah County's powerbase outside the city is very limited, and Clark County would welcome the new highway. 

Avoiding Portland, though, would possibly preclude the Hayden Island Rail Bridge piggyback, though much of that land up there is industrial or undeveloped there. 

-Alex (Tarkus)
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DrZoidberg

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Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2009, 01:31:07 PM »

I think another big challenge, Tarkus, would be where to build the bypass on the south end of US 26 (future I-84! :-P) Ideally, you could route at least an expressway along Cornelius Pass Rd, as it appears to have a fairly wide ROW on it's eastern side, and most of the new development near Cornell is on the western side.  There'd be some challenges upgrading existing crossings to to interchanges, but it could be done. The routing south of TV Highway would be tough...

North of US 26 is a little less developed, and in theory, it'd be possible to keep the freeway routed along Cornelius Pass, with a new alignment being needed to connect with US 30.  Then, like you said, across to Hayden Island, and into Clark County.

I agree that keeping the freeway out of Multnomah County would be nice, and would avoid a lot of Tri Met's influence.  Dare to dream, right?

The last challenge would be where to have it meet with existing Clark County freeways.  If it's possible to extend WA 14 westward, you could piggyback the new freeway along 14 to meet I-5.
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DrZoidberg

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Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2009, 01:13:31 AM »

Another roadblock for the Columbia River crossing.  In my opinion, this is BADLY needed.  But, I also know that Portland could swell to 5 million people, and they still wouldn't widen a single highway?  Need proof? Read on.

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/04/unusual_allies_protest_columbi.html
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corco

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Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2009, 01:27:23 AM »

That'll work itself out. Once freight can't get into or out of Portland and all those activists lose their jobs, they'll realize freight mobility is kind of important.

It just might take a while and be pretty ugly in the middle

DrZoidberg

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Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2009, 10:25:51 AM »

Here's an interesting article from the Portland Tribute regarding the future of OR-217.  Again, ODOT has managed to screw it up and is only thinking short term.

http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=123923873919644900

If this is any indicator of how they operate, the bridge getting approved will be like pulling teeth.
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Fcexpress80

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Re: I-5 Columbia River Crossing (OR/WA)
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2009, 07:23:31 PM »

Attitudes can change.  As traffic gets worse, Portland's economy will go into the toilet and that is when change will happen. 

Your car equals your freedom no matter what anybody tries to tell you.  And this will not change unless the USA becomes a police state.  Public infrastructure is too skewed towards public transportation in the Portland area but this will probably be a memory sometime in the next 50 years as the area population increases.  I'm not totally against public transportation, but I do believe a good balance is needed. 

The I-205 loop idea is valid and allows for future needs of the Portland/Vancouver metro area.
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