Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler today issued the following statement after I-5 bridge replacement officials advanced two final projects that exclude Bus Rapid Transit, and would extend Portland’s light rail system into Clark County:
“I could not be more disappointed by today’s announcement that I-5 bridge replacement officials are advancing two final project options that do not include Bus Rapid Transit, while both would extend Portland’s light rail system into Clark County. This decision flies in the face of Southwest Washington voters who have soundly and repeatedly rejected bringing Portland’s light rail to Washington state along with the massive cost, river traffic limitations and public safety concerns that come with it. I detailed these major problems with light rail to project leadership earlier this week.
“For months I have been warning that this process was too closely reflecting the bungled “Columbia River Crossing” failure that collapsed in large part because of its stubborn insistence on light rail, but somehow here we go again. In the ten years since that project failed, Clark County has built up a robust Bus Rapid Transit system that offers a viable mode of interstate transit for a new I-5 bridge – yet the Interstate Bridge Group won’t even study BRT among its final options.”