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Bridge Study Sees Increased Tolls Before New Crossing In Place

Feasibility study nears completion.

The Southwest Regional Transportation Council, in partnership with the Oregon and Washington transportation departments and local agencies, is nearing completion of "Tier 2" of the State Route 35 Columbia River Crossing Feasibility Study.

Tier 2 will evaluate the financial feasibility of a new or improved river crossing, and select alternatives to be carried into the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). Tier 2 is expected to be concluded in June 2002.

The bridge study team has completed conceptual construction cost estimates of the six remaining alternatives. Cost estimates do not include the cost of design, right-of-way, or any mitigation that may be required. The cost of a new fix-span bridge ranges from $109 million to $145 million. Retrofitting the existing bridge would cost $137 million.

A tunnel would cost approximately four times more than any of the bridge options.

A proposed bridge toll to pay to finance a new bridge would raise the existing toll to $1 between 2004-2010. Fifty cents of that dollar would be set aside to help pay for a new bridge. The toll would be increased to $1.75 when a new crossing opens in 2010 (projected).

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