This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 17, 2011 12:42 PM. The previous post in this blog was Portland's big lie continues. The next post in this blog is Money today, acid rain tomorrow. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

A tale of two bridges

1. Where will we get the money? We can't get started on construction until we have every penny lined up and every aspect of its design fully planned.

2. We don't know where all the money is going to come from, and we don't even know how tall it has to be, but it's an iconic linchpin! Full speed ahead!

Comments (23)

This is a perfect juxtaposition.
Light rail cost of $1,500,000,000/7.3mi= $205,500,000/mile. Unbelievable, unconscionable.

Someone commented that they raided the schools for this bridge, and that's exactly true. The lying vermin rats love to say this amount is only for schools or etc, but in reality, they take whatever money they can find to eagerly present to their developer overlords.

OMG, only $290,000,000 for the Sellwood bridge replacement? We could build over 5 Sellwood bridge replacement for the cost of 1 crime-train bridge that won't allow cars??

I'm done. I'm moving to clackamas co.

I've been saying it for years. It is immoral for our City leaders to neglect basic services in favor of pet projects. The Sellwood is literally crumbling around itself, and just a small stretch up-river, A brand spanking new bridge is being erected that only satisfies transit riders and cyclists. It really is quite a contrast, and I'm very surprised the story has not been picked up on nationally. John Stossel, where are you?

“We must write the check to TriMet now, and then be reimbursed from the Sellwood project savings later,” Adams told the Portland Tribune on Sunday.

Hmmm, so we're writing a check from an account that is currently empty (if not overdrawn). And it will be "reimbursed" from "cost savings" on a project that currently has a $40 million shortfall.

The Mayor's magical theory of "cost savings":

I was going to take out a home mortgage for $300k. But you know, I think I'll only spend $250k instead. Look at that! Now I have $50k in my pocket!

Check this out

"The Clackamas County work session was on the web site agenda like this:

10:30 AM Portland – Milwaukie Light Rail
Funding Agreement Review
Cam Gilmour, Dan Johnson, Scot Sideras

But TriMet general manager Neil McFarlane was there and he led what amounted to a 45 minute light rail "pep rally".

Listen to Audio of the "Pep Rally" here


Neil McFarlane covers all of the magnificence of Light Rail.

At 38:45 Commissioner Lininger adds her cheers for Milwaukie Light Rail.

Followed by Commissioner Bernard claiming Milwaukie would turn into a slum without MLR and finishes with "the check is in the mail"

Finally Commissioner Savas asked what the gathering was for and immediately asked what Clackamas County defaulting on the inter-governmental funding agreement might look like.

The Clackamas county attorney said he had no idea what default would look like because it had never happened before.

Mcfarlane said TriMet had options for phasing the project.

TriMet and Portland would probably be giddy just to get the transit bridge and any number of less than full versions of MLR. The transit bridge alone allows them to complete the eastside-westside streetcar loop. Finishing at Tacoma would still allow a future additional Streetcar loop over the new Sellwood Bridge. Stopping in Milwaukie would save the $150 million cost of the McLoughlin viaduct and extension to Park Avenue.

McFarlane also said there is some flexibility in handing over the $25 million. Perhaps a year delay in the total amount. How kind."

I just loved the headlines a week or so ago that the Milwaukie light rail line bridge will impede navigation for vessels which can currently fit under the Sellwood, and the Abernethy, and the Oregon City bridges.

I have this vague memory from first year constitutional law that for navigable waters (and the Willamette up to Oregon City is a navigable waterway, that the locals were prohibited by the feds from building a structure which would impede navigability.

If my memory isn't faulty (and it frequently is) seems like a major "Whoops" for the light rail bridge should any current waterway user gripe to the feds.

Ben: link is broken

But isn't the elephant among the new Portland area bridges really the $4 billion, 4 mile freeway expansion (with a 1/2 mile bridge in the middle) called the Columbia River Crossing? All these other projects are chicken feed in comparison.

At $1.5 billion the MLR is hardly chicken feed.

But yes, the $4 billion CRC is th elephant. In more ways than people know.

It is $10 billion.


And the first $150 million cannot be accounted for.


So can someone explain to me what is being done with the MultCo DMV fees that are allegedly being collected for the Sellwood Bridge? Or did the color of that money change somehow?

And the Clackistanis who use the new Sellwood bridge should be assessed a toll to make up for all the MultCos who either never or rarely use the bridge.

"And the Clackistanis who use the new Sellwood bridge should be assessed a toll to make up for all the MultCos who either never or rarely use the bridge."

Why not just call it what it is, Multnomah County's Idiot Tax that Clackamas county residents were too smart to pay? Obviously they have plenty of money for bridges (go ask TriMet) why were you stupid enough to believe they'd actually use your taxes on something useful?

The bridge is totally within Mult county. Perhaps in retribution we should start charging all the Mult county types that use Mt Hood (within Clackamas county) a road tax to go skiing?

Clackamas is where the biggest blowback against the Sam Adams/TriMet/Metro mafia
is coming from and they are about to reject their share of Milwaukie Light Rail.

Now why on earth would anyone criticize their rejection of the fee scam?

Especially since Metro/JPACT pilfered
$204 million in fed flex for Milwaukie Light Rail from the tri-county transportation infrastructure funding.
Leaving Clackamas $70 million short for years to come.

And of course that isn't the only despicable stunt involving the Sellwood bridge and the light Rail mafia.

I feel for the reg. folks in Mult Co. who have been stuck with the $19 VRF.
But you have too many bad politicians and not enough rebels to stop anything.
Quite the contrary. You have an entire regime attempting to invade in every direction with an agenda that isn't wanted.

It's the identical story in Lake Oswego, Clackamas County, Damascus and Clark County.

Conniving and unethical people and agencies trying to impose sweeping changes that the populous does not want and refuses to pay for.

Clackamas County is already paying and having much of their share of Metro, Federal and ODOT money misspent.

The fact that they stopped another rip off should be celebrated.

When they stop the county from paying for Milwaukie Light Rail will some call for them to be banned from MAX? Probably.

When LO kills the P-LO streetcar should they be punished?

How about Vancouver if they kill light rail on the CRC?

Every bit of these scandals could be stopped region wide if people recognized what a little more solidarity is capable of.
Including reversal of that despicable $19.00 Mult County vehicle registration fee.

Ya'll could get rid of that. If you helped your neighbors they would help you get rid of it.

The Mayor is a habitual liar: I doubt he can even discern facts from fiction anymore. He's like the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland.

Why bother reporting on what he says?

Ever heard of Angus Duncan? He's the director of the Oregon Global Warming Commission. Did you even know we had an OGWC? He did an interesting little presentation the other day, where he talked about the importance of the UGB, increasing density (condo bunkers), and walkable, transit-oriented communities.

He claimed that for every dollar we spend on this stuff, we'll save $5 in "emission remediation" costs.

This mentality is deeply entrenched, and it isn't going away any time soon.

Steve, I totally think the infatuation with rail is ridiculous and not a dime of anyone's dough should go to it.

As for Hwy 26 to Mt. Hood, well that's an ODOT road so MultCo'ers are already paying for it. Try apples to apples next time.

And I was being facetious with the Sellwood toll talk but that seems to be over your head.

"well that's an ODOT road so MultCo'ers are already paying for it. Try apples to apples next time. "

Clackamas county police and search and rescue. There are other roads in Clackamas County that provide access that need maintenance also unless you purposely avoid driving thru Gresham.

I'm not trying to make to fine a point, its just that once you let tax bodies go beyond physical borders, there will be no limit on what they will try to tax. I mean how much say do Clack county people have in the county govt that maintains the Sellwood? PLus a lot of Clack county people use the Morrison which is getting re-paved. PLus Lake Oswego lets CoP put their sewage treatment plant there.

Keep it simple with taxes.

Red Meat.

In the intergovernmetal agreement between TriMet and Calackmas County is a project estimate for the $1.5 billion Milwaukie Light Rail.

Light Rail Vehicles...... $90 million

At $4.5 million for each 2car/train that's enough for 20 light rail trains.

Gee I wonder what they are going to do with those?

I know, sell them and lease them back like all the prior ones.

Pawning big time.

Did any of you not know TriMet sold all of their MAX trains?
It's true, good day.

It's not all that hard to reconcile the difference between the two bridges when you keep in mind that one (Sellwood) serves motor vehicles, and the other (MLR) serves lightrail and bicycles. In this time and place, any project that encourages the use of private autos is going to get hectored and mugged out of existence. That simple.

The MLR low bridge height at 50 ft. above water is really a big deal.

Besides not meeting federal and state navigation requirements, it also doesn't meet even today's usage. Many recreational sailboat masts exceed 50 ft. Some of the tourist boats exceed the clearance. And the large sternwheelers that ply the Willamette and Columbia that go up to the Willamette Falls in Oregon City won't be able to do so. Several of the tugs that use to push the paper mill barges and the present gravel barges won't be able to. And, heaven forbid, if some industry or need happens for any ship, barge or tug that needs to work upriver from the MLR bridge.

I hope the shipping, tourist and recreational industries put a stop to the MLR bridge by insisting on the federal standards which control our waterways; and not Sam, TriMet, or Metro.

When you look at the costs for the Sellwood project, don't forget the highway 43 work (highway 43 belongs to ODOT)costs almost as much as the actual bridge span. I always wondered why a county is picking up the state's funding responsibility on this.....

"He claimed that for every dollar we spend on this stuff, we'll save $5 in 'emission remediation' costs."

Not sure how these so-called cost savings work out in my case. I won't go over the Sellwood Bridge, so when I go to visit friends in Lake O from my SE PDX home, I go up & over the Ross Island, adding quite a few miles (and some emissions) to my trip. [And no, I won't be making a bus-streetcar-bus journey to visit them -- I don't have that kind of time to get over there & back.]

Also, I was thinking of getting a more fuel-efficient car this year, but after paying the pricey Mult Co vehicle reg fees this past winter, I have decided to hang on to my clunker for at least another year, resulting in still more emissions.

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