Clark County Council settles on I5 Bridge resolution text
The Clark County Council agreed Wednesday on the text of a resolution supporting the replacement of the Interstate 5 Bridge after tussling over how specific it should be regarding added lanes and tolls that could be part of the project.“We’re not designing a project; we’re not designing a bridge,” Councilor John Blom said during a meeting Wednesday.But Councilor Jeanne Stewart, noting that she had “10 years of rodeo,” said generalized statements can be used to support what ends up becoming a very different project with serious financial implications.“I’m going to buy a hat for myself today, and in about three years or four years, if we don’t see mutation in whatever we thought was our best effort here, I’m going to eat that hat,” said Stewart.The resolution was finalized at the council’s Wednesday meeting and will be brought up for a formal vote at its Tuesday meeting.The resolution before the Clark County Council is similar to one passed unanimously by the Vancouver City Council in August. Both resolutions note the significance of the I-5 corridor and how “severe congestion” between Vancouver and Portland affects the “efficient movement of people and freight.” Both resolutions note the inadequacy of bistate public transit to serve the area and call for new investments in bike and pedestrian infrastructure.The Columbia River Crossing, a proposed replacement bridge that was terminated in 2013, included light rail. Clark County’s resolution explicitly supports bus rapid transit with a dedicated lane as the preferred means of high-capacity transit. The resolution also calls on the replacement to relieve traffic congestion on the I-5 Bridge.