Your ACTION is needed! The Oregon State Legislature has decided to fast-track the Columbia River Crossing despite the public outcry. HB 2800 has been scheduled for a public hearing this MONDAY, February 11 at the State Capitol Hearing Room F from 3pm until 9pm. You can click here for more information on the bill.
This boondoggle of a project meets none of our traffic congestion needs. Yet legislators have brought forward a bill that will fund this project, which will have a huge impact on the State Highway Fund and all other needed transportation dollars around the state. They are planning on selling bonds against our future federal transportation dollars in order to fund the project, taking Oregon dangerously close to our maximum bonding authority, despite other potential needs for bonding authority. And on top of that, they are planning on making it a toll bridge!
Here are some of the lowlights of the CRC boondoggle:
· HB 2800 imposes large debt service requirements on future motorists to pay for up-front bonds, and that money will simply cannibalize other highway/road projects everywhere else in the state
· Since the state has been doing this very thing for most of the past decade (selling bonds to be paid off by gas tax money), ODOT is projecting that a large portion of gas tax money through 2020 and beyond will be lost to debt service anyway, so HB 2800 makes a bad situation worse.
· The project, if built, will never work because the bridge would be like a big funnel, and south of the Columbia everything would come to a halt right near the Fremont bridge
· Since the current bridge is structurally sound, it should be left standing, and at least 2 new bridges should be built (one to the west of I-5, and one out in Gresham)
· There is no reason for Oregon taxpayers to spend one penny expanding TriMet’s service territory into another state. The light rail portion should be removed.
Take Action by attending the bill hearing this Monday and sending emails and phone calls to the Committee members immediately!
Please be sure to also submit comments to the committe staffer at email@example.com. This will ensure your comments become part of the official legislative record!