States, manufacturers finalize mitigation agreements on Columbia River Crossing

June 4, 2013

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Oregon and Washington departments of transportation have signed pivotal agreements with two Columbia River manufacturers whose operations would be affected by construction of a new I-5 bridge across the Columbia River. The agreements to mitigate those potential impacts are a crucial development in the effort to replace the aging Columbia River Crossing. 

“Oregon Iron Works and Greenberry Industrial are vital partners in maintaining our state’s manufacturing sector,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. “They depend on a navigable river as well as an interstate that carries goods and people safely and efficiently. Governor Kitzhaber and I are grateful for their partnership as we replace the I-5 bridge.”

In January 2013, the joint Oregon and Washington Columbia River Crossing project submitted a general bridge permit application to United States Coast Guard. The application described the economic and transportation benefits of the project and proposed mitigation for potential impacts on the fabricators’ navigation-dependent operations.

”Safe and reliable travel on I-5 is a crucial economic driver for both states, and we must do everything possible to build this bridge and remain competitive in this global marketplace,” said Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber. “I’m pleased by the deliberative process the states and the businesses are undertaking to develop these agreements and bring us closer to construction.”

Shipments from the two companies could be affected by the proposed bridge, which will have a maximum height of 116 feet. The states have been in discussions with them, as well as a third manufacturer, to determine how to mitigate the potential impacts while protecting the family-wage jobs they generate. Details of the mitigation agreements will be released once the permit process concludes with a decision from the USCG by September 30, 2013. 

”The leadership of Govs. Inslee and Kitzhaber has been a critical component of getting these agreements in place. The Oregon Legislature has done its job also, securing the funding for its share of the project,” said Washington State Senate Transportation Co-Chair Tracey Eide. “Now, it’s time for us in the Washington Legislature to do the same by passing a transportation package that ensures the safety of one of the nation’s most important bridges. The time to fund the I-5 bridge replacement is now.”

The aging I-5 bridges, built in 1917 and 1958, must be replaced to protect the drivers who make 128,000 daily trips across the span. The bridge is a critical component of the freight corridor that connects Canada to Mexico. More than $40 billion in freight crosses the bridge annually.

Click here for more information about the plan to replace the bridge and keep Washington’s economy moving.

 

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Media Contact 

Office of the Governor
Jaime Smith
360-902-0617