PORTLAND – Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney said he’s not interested in building a new bridge over the Columbia River without the support of Washington state.
The Salem Democrat supported the Columbia River Crossing in a March legislative vote, but he said he had only agreed to build half a bridge.
“I don’t want to be the guy stopping it,” Courtney told the Oregonian. “I’m just saying this is no way to build a bridge to another state. The kind of ill will that you could create would be with you for a long, long, long time.”
The original plan called for each state to contribute $450 million toward a $3.5 billion light-rail and freeway bridge linking Portland and Vancouver, Wash. But the project appeared dead when the Washington Senate rejected that state’s share of the funding.
Supporters in Oregon are trying to resurrect the plan by relying only on state money, the federal government and tolls. The plan would lift a condition that says Oregon can only spend money on the bridge if Washington does.