Washington State’s House of Representatives has given the green light to tolling on the span between Oregon and Washington, following on the heels of an earlier vote by the state Senate.
The House voted 65 to 33 to give transportation officials in Washington the power to place tolls between Vancouver and Portland to help pay for the mammoth Columbia River Crossing Light Rail project.
The Washington State Senate earlier voted to approve tolls by a margin of 33 to 15, but also capped the project’s cost at $3.14 billion.
Earlier Sen. Don Benton (D-Vancouver) said he’d prefer two smaller bridges over one mega-project, and he won approval for an amendment that would hold the CRC project’s cost at a cap of $3.14 billion.
Planners so far have put a $10 billion* price tag on the project. Opponents of the Columbia River Crossing Light Rail project (CRC) in its current form have clamored for other options to be considered but have been systematically overruled.
Forensic accountant Tiffany Couch has lambasted the project, its cost overruns, and apparent lack of transparency for months. Couch and other of the project’s detractors want a simpler, less pricey option.
* The well-documented cost to taxpayers, if the CRC stays on budget, is $10 billion. This was established by the Cortright Report (PDF) which used data from an independent review panel hired by the governors of Washington and Oregon. (View the panel’s final report.)
See our continuing coverage of the Columbia River Crossing Light Rail project.
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