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“Bridging the Gaps” organizer David Madore presents during the event on June 4 in Vancouver. Here is an overview of his remarks:

00:00  Madore shows the animated video of “Sky High,” which depicts the cost comparison of Hoover Dam bypass, the Glenn Jackson bridge, a proposed 192nd Avenue bridge, and the Columbia River Crossing Light Rail (CRC) project*.

01:49  Madore shows another animated video – a rendering of a 192nd Avenue bridge. He shows why the bridge is very buildable and how well the plan minimizes the environmental impact.

03:57  Madore states that the idea behind proposing “East County Crossing,” or the 192nd Avenue bridge, is to fuel economic growth. He says the Bridging the Gaps effort is not opposed to growth, progress or a bridge. He says the 192nd Avenue bridge won’t take years and years of study nor cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build.

04:25  Madore states that private industry can build bridges much more effectively than a government bureaucracy. He says private industry should be invited to submit a proposal and be rewarded for the best design.

04:57  Madore says he is a proponent of the 192nd Avenue bridge and a fourth west side bridge. He says the high cost of rebuilding one bridge with light rail will take away the options of a third, fourth and fifth bridge.

05:25  He says the solution is for citizens to get engaged, adding that citizens are the customers and need to participate and be part of the solution. The decision cannot be left to those who are simply selling services.

06:00  Madore shows an aerial photo of I-205 and explains that when Glenn Jackson created it, he set aside land for expansion which is now being taken up by light rail. He points out that I-84 is a one-lane feeder into I-205. It could be a two-lane feeder but it doesn’t make sense if it’s only going to be crammed into three lanes.

07:40 Madore asks the question, “Is light rail the solution to congestion or is it really doing the exact opposite? Is it actually boxing us in and consuming the space for extra lanes?”

08:08 Madore says he does not know of plans to increase the capacity of the 205 on the south side of the Columbia River. He says the capacity still exists on the north side and he hopes it won’t be consumed with light rail.

08:36  Madore shows another aerial photo of I-84. He points out that I-84 is as expanded as it can be. He says the adjacent land for expansion has been consumed by light rail. Madore points out that if it can be done at all, expansion will be costly. He states that projects become more expensive when “you eat what was already set aside.” He returns to the foresight of Glenn Jackson and says it was misappropriated for light rail.

09:52  Madore suggests that while sitting in I-205 or I-84 traffic, citizens ask the question, “Has light rail consumed that space or has it solved the problem?”

* 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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