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DOTs Look for New Design For Columbia River Crossing

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A February report from a 16-person bridge review panel calls for a new design in the proposed 10-lane Interstate 5 Columbia River Crossing connecting Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, Wash. Technical and engineering issues “could not be overcome” with the current open-web box design, the report says. The panel was formed in November after an independent review confirmed suspicions relating to high construction costs and unknown risks associated with an unorthodox design. The February report proposes scrapping the $440-million open-web design in favor of a cable-stay ($400 million), tied-arch ($430 million) or composite-deck truss option ($340 million) as part of the greater $3.6-billion corridor upgrade. Govs. John Kitzhaber (D) of Oregon and Chris Gregoire (D) of Washington agree, issuing a joint statement saying “we have instructed executives at the departments of transportation to discontinue any further design work on the open-web box girder bridge type.” A new bridge recommendation is due in late February, to keep construction on track for 2013.

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