New Columbia River bridge proposed

A new bridge spanning the Columbia River has been proposed.
Road Structures / December 2, 2020 40 seconds Read
By MJ Woof
A new bridge is being proposed to replace the existing link over the Columbia River – image courtesy of © Jpldesigns, Dreamstime.com
Officials in the US states of Oregon and Washington have been discussing plans for a new bridge carrying I-5 and spanning the Columbia River. This would connect the city of Portland in Oregon with Vancouver in Washington. Building the new bridge would cost in the region of US$3.2 billion to $4.8 billion however.

Tolling for the new I-5 bridge would help pay for the link. The new bridge proposal has a number of options, including facilities for bus rapid transit or light rail systems.

The first bridge connection between the two cities was constructed in 1917. A second and parallel bridge opened in 1958. Both feature lifting sections to allow river traffic to pass, as well as having three lane in either direction for vehicle traffic. The bridge link is subject to maintenance issues and traffic delays for motor vehicles as well as vessels on the river however and is classed as ‘functionally obsolete’. Plans for its replacement have now been discussed for some decades, although the proposals are controversial.