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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Just what the Interstate Bridge fiasco needs

Another committee! And best of all, another committee of Oregon legislators:

The committee will be made up of the membership of the Senate Business and Transportation and House Transportation and Economic Development committees. It will be co-chaired by Sen. Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro), Sen. Lee Beyer (D-Springfield), Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario), and Rep. Tobias Read (D-Beaverton).

Four chairmen! We're saved!

Comments (17)

What's that old saying about a giraffe is a cow designed by a committee?
I can hardly wait for the results !

The CRC is producing a new kind of sleazy politicians.

HB 2800 to fund the CRC has an emergency clause attached to it to prohibit any referendum.
That's quite the emergency. The public will stop them?
Prohibiting a public vote is so special.

Over in Vancouver the elections office threw out 600 valid original signatures along with the duplicates to cause a city wide vote on the CRC 32 signatures short. Sorry no vote for you.

If anyone wonders why there are NO city councils or county commissions weighing in on this boondoggle except Clackamas County it's because of the spanking they would get for daring to voice their opinions publicly.

Ludlow and company have been assailed with demands to pull their CRC resolution from the agenda today.

It's not enough for CRC proponents to be able to make their case and let the vote land where it lands.

No, they don't want any public airing and vote by any governing body.

This is the only way the CRC advances all the way.

Through the scurrilous collusion to prohibit any kind of public vote that doesn't support the project. Either by referral, referendum, initiative or even by local representation through city councils or county commissions.

I hope the Clackamas Co. hearing today [10:00 am] gets an earful from folks before the resolution gets voted on and passed.
Many think if it passes the cone of silence will be lifted and many others will follow.

The big push by the legislators has become a complete avoiding of the merit while pumping how the funding package is all put together.
State Treasurer Ted Wheeler has discovered some new borrowing capacity and that's supposed to be the same as affordability and somehow make the CRC a priority for that borrowing.

Wow, I think I'm going to stand down from this debate. Pondering the CRC bridge led to thoughts of the Big One and I couldn't get to sleep 'til after 3 last night. The earthquake we're looking at is in the 8.7 to 9.2 range - or so they say.

The Boxing Day quake of 2004 was 9.1 That's the best recent comparison given differences in that part of the world. There were waves up to 100 feet tall in some places. 230,000 dead. The damn thing took out 230,000 people. I think it's hard to grasp the magnitude of what we could face here. If you care at all, you can get the chills.

I have been telling myself that I'm aware of what my beloved Oregon is heading into but I really felt it last night looking at the tsunami videos from Thailand, etc...This is a generational calling. So what if we get away with it ourselves, but the next generation is left plucking old bridges out of rivers?

By the way, the Marquam Bridge doesn't sound all that ready either. Lots of bridges will probably collapse, but none will be more important than the span across the Columbia River. And that sounds like it's going to go. One scientist reportedly said that one could go in a moderate quake.

And keep in mind, when this thing pops, it's from Vancouver Island on down the coast for 600 miles. We will be competing for infrastructure help with a lot of others.

Look, I'm not trying to be an alarmist here - although it sure sounds that way - but I really got it last night and I could not sleep. One story said 60% of the buildings in downtown Portland won't make it. Can you imagine that? It's because of the long duration of the shaking. I've read 2 to 5 minutes based on the length of the fault that has to tear.

That's it for me. I'm going to tune out and go back to being shocked by our drone policy. If you want more on why we owe it to ourselves and future Oregonians to get ready as much as possible, check this link out:


What slays me about this whole CRC thing, is that here in Nebraska, working with the State of Iowa, they just built a new 8 Lane Bridge on I-80, over a river / span just as wide (Missouri), with the proper Coast Guard heights and did it without all the political theatrics I see in Portland.
Sorry, but sometimes Midwest pragmatism rules.
Bike Lane? Nope, this is an Interstate, fool.
Light Rail? Nope, that’s even more foolish.
Put a Bird on it? Nope, it’s an Interstate Bridge to move trucks and cars on the busy I-80 / I-29 Corridor. Not an Art Work Project or a “Statement Piece”.
Studies and Charrette’s? Design work went out to bid and was won by HDR Engineering.
And they built it at 1/16th of the cost estimates of the CRC, currently at, what, $3.5B (rim shot)?
Maybe that's why both States have a balanced budget and some surplus: pragmatism.
Same thing with the infamous $90M Ballpark in Lents that the Paulson’s were trying to push.
Really? $90M? We just built a state of the art baseball park in the Omaha Metro area, seating 8,000 for the Triple A Omaha Ball Club of the same Pacific Coast League for a shade under $17M. It was rated by Baseball Weekly as one of the top Minor League parks in the country.
The CoP, PDC, Oregon Legislature, Construction Industry, Pamplin Concrete, CH2M Hill, the Bike Lobby, Tri-Met, etc. combined are worse than a third world dictatorship and the mafia.

Bill, what I didn't realize was that if we built this otherwise unnecessary bridge we'd all be spared.

PDXile, those sensible midwesterners are using their heads and watching their wallets. Can't do that here! Just not trendy.

Allan L.
No problem. I mean "You're welcome."

overheard from current politico darling Tina Kotek @ CRC public meeting held last year at Concorde. "LaHood's bridge - it's a done deal"

The only problem with the midwest is that St. Louis has a light rail system even more wacky than Portland's, that goes over to East St. Louis, Illinois, and serves a bunch of abandoned neighborhoods, cow pastures, and parking lots in the middle of nowhere. But it's sustainable!

Thank you for the great perspective.

Sounds like some people need to step away from the computer and get restful sleep.

Do we agree there's a finite amount of money to spend on earthquake remediation?

If so, would you rather have a new bridge, or new/updated school buildings?

If you agree there's a finite amount of time/money/resources then it is a fair question.

Dont underestimate the power of Clackamas News' observation:
"HB 2800 to fund the CRC has an emergency clause attached to it to prohibit any referendum."

Laws in Oregon usually take about 90 days from passage to go into effect. That gives a chance for The People to veto the law by way of referendum. Unless the bill is declared 'an emergency'. Then it goes into effect upon the Gov's signature and no referendum possible.

There are some people who are really ticked about this one. There are recalls of legislators being talked around. Recalls managed by people with enough savvy and money to pull it off.

Since the big one is going to totally destroy everything in its path anyway, aren't we better off doing nothing until after it hits? Think of it this way - Good Mother Earth will be providing a lot of free demolition that we can really take advantage of.

Hope this helps.

PDXile: YOU may want an efficient, fast, low cost, quickly built, river navigable, no frills bridge across the great Missouri.

OUR leadership prefers being mocked by Fred Armistead. Hell, OUR politicians compete to be extras.

There will NEVER be a show called, "Council Blufftopia".

And THAT's what's important here... well, that and "The Simpsons" references to Portland and LOTS of strip clubs.

Just imagine, a large quake will probably rupture the recently completed, miles-long sewage storage tanks hidden conveniently out-of-sight underneath the Willamette River.

As I recollect, PWB went ahead with the project against EPA advice.

It won't be pretty.

Having served on citizens' advisory committees in town (an ultimately frustrating experience) two things have probably helped make this a runaway train: First, "We've already spent so much money we can't afford to stop" and "if we don't take advantage of matching Federal money when it is available it won't be there."

I can't tell you how many times I heard these arguments, even when the money is not available at a sensible time or when it is really needed to be used effectively.

Itjd, true, but today I won't have to pay a $9 toll to visit "Counciltucky" anytime soon.
Speaking of no frills bridges, I bet the Glenn Jackson I-205 Bridge must have burned a hole in the soul of the aforementioned PDX Construction Cartel.

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