Plans to build a new bridge over the Columbia River linking Oregon and Washington along Interstate 5 are dead, and there is no indication when and if they will be revived.
The Oregon Department of Transportation says it will shut down its involvement by May 31, due to the state legislature not appropriating any money for what is known as the Columbia River Crossing. The move followed Washington State pulling the plug last year.
The likely end of the $2.8 billion dollar project a stinging defeat for Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, as well as for business groups in the state who said a new span was needed to improve freight movements. The current bridge is the scene of frequent crashes.
In contrast, the plan received little support from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. It also was attacked by environmental and business groups in the state as wasteful, partly because it involved light rail between Portland and Vancouver.
The project still has the support of U.S. Sen. Patty Murry, D-Wash. who is pushing for federal funding.
Planning for the Columbia River Crossing began about a decade ago. It would have likely included the use of tolls on the span as well as on nearby I-205.
The current northbound span was built nearly 100 years ago, while the southbound was completed in the 1950s. Both are currently drawbridges.