Funding for Washington-Oregon bridge project

A funding plan is proposed for the new Washington-Oregon bridge project.
Finance & Funding / May 15, 2023 1 minute Read
By MJ Woof
A new bridge link is required to carry I-5 between Washinton State and Oregon State in the US - image courtesy of © Vitpho |

The financing required to build the new bridge linking Washington State and Oregon State in the US is still to be finalised. The authorities in Washington State are intending to provide US$1 billion of the necessary funding and are looking for their counterparts in Oregon State to deliver a similar finance package for the project.

Tolls will be introduced on the existing Interstate 5 bridge to help pay for the new bridge. Building the new bridge is expected to cost $6.3-7.5 billion however, with US Federal funding being required to pay for much of the remainder. The bridge link will likely be tolled, providing another funding source. The bridges connect Portland in Oregon State with Vancouver in Washington State.

But the new bridge is desperately needed to replace the fast ageing twin bridges currently carrying traffic on I-5 over the Columbia River. The old bridges suffer serious maintenance issues as well as traffic delays for motor vehicles and vessels on the river however. The old bridges are classed as ‘functionally obsolete’, with the first between the two cities having been constructed in 1917. The second bridge opened in 1958. Both feature lifting sections to allow river traffic to pass, as well as having three lanes in either direction for vehicle traffic.