Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Portland Bridge

I’ve blogged about the Columbia River Crossing at the border of Washington and Oregon State in Metro Portland before. It is basically like our Port Mann Bridge project except that instead of an all road project with 37km of highway expansion and a new bridge, the Portland project includes a new bridge, a much needed light rail line across the Columbia river, and 16km "of moving or improving highway connections, adding add/drop lanes and lengthening on-and off-ramps."
Light rail would extend from the Expo Center MAX Station in Portland to a station and park and ride at Clark College in Vancouver. Pedestrians and bicyclists would travel along a wider and safer path than exists today. Light rail and the pedestrian and bicycle path could be on a third bridge or located beneath the decks of the new highway bridges.

Light rail would fit within the future express and local bus systems to expand access between Vancouver and Portland. Express buses would continue to serve long distance commuter markets by providing direct access between Clark County and downtown Portland during peak commute hours. Local bus service in Vancouver would connect to light rail and continue to serve Vancouver.

Anyway in recent news, the project is now in the design phase of the light rail component of this multimodal project.
TriMet on March 10 will hold a neighborhood workshop to hear input about the design of a new light-rail station that would be constructed in downtown Vancouver, Wash., as part of the Columbia River Crossing project.
On a side note, our Port Mann/Highway 1 project will cost about $3 billion. This is what $3 billion of light rail would buy. The map is from Patrick Condon at the UBC School of Architecture + Landscape Architecture. Click the map to make it bigger.


Paul Hillsdon said...

Well, to be fair, the PMH1 project also includes upgrades to interchanges along the route, and expands the HOV network.

Only part missing is the light rail!

Joe Zaccaria said...

Paul makes a good point and I believe that right now there is far more problems with infrastructure leading up to the bridge than the bridge itself.

I do support the replacement of aging infrastructure (some will argue this bridge hasn't met its end of cycle - I don't agree). But I have to wonder if those roads in Surrey won't still be a mess unless there are major changes there. This is the case for light rail over the bridge to help relieve these other major roads.