Path \\ Home \ Public Affairs \ Columbia River Crossing
CRC Project

Grow Jobs, Ease Congestion, Improve Safety

Columbia River Crossing
Bridge/Transit/Highway Project




Successful completion of the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project will boost the regional economy and directly benefit the Clark County business community.

The CRC is identified as a project of national significance. The CRC, with the new high bridge and high capacity transit, will result in increased freight mobility, 20,000  new jobs (see jobs below) increased safety throughout the project corridor, improved air quality, significantly reduced congestion, elimination of drawbridge lifts, earthquake safe design, increased freight capacity, and increased capacity for industrial development, and prevention of the projected loss of 6,500 jobs annually by 2025 due to delayed freight times.

GVCC members consistently rate the CRC as a top advocacy issue, along with jobs and economic development. The GVCC Board of Directors supports the CRC effort and voted in support of the Locally Preferred Alternative. The GVCC is a member of the Columbia River Crossing Coalition, a broad group of community CRC project advocates.


The original I-5 bridge span was built in 1917 (vintage postard shown above) and the second in 1952. The current bridge will not sustain a major earthquake. This portion of I-5 has the highest accident rate in Oregon and Washington.


Project Benefits/CRC Facts


  • The project will generate 12,000 direct construction/development jobs during its six year construction phase, in addition to 3,000 indirect and 5,000 induced.
  • “The Costs of Congestion Study” quantified the future job loss due to delayed freight times:, 6,500 jobs annually by 2025 without the bigger bridge.

Freight Mobility

  • An estimated 2.3 million trucks haul goods and freight in Clark County (2007). $26.4 billion in value of goods and freight move through Clark County each year. $3.2 billion is paid to employees who work in freight-generating business in Clark County alone.
  • Freight generators employed 66,057 workers in 2007 (51% of the County’s employment) with an average wage 4% above the county average.
  • The forecast for freight volumes is expected to double in 30 years.
  • 45% of Clark County’s industrial employment is concentrated in the southwest area and uses I-5.


  • Without the bigger bridge and other recommended regional investments, the six hours of daily congestion today currently will increase to 15 hours daily.
  • Without the bridge, the number of accidents will increase as the congestion increases from 300 to 600 per year.


  • The current bridge was built in 1917 and 1952 and will not sustain a major earthquake.
  • With 300 accidents per year in the corridor area, this portion of I-5 has the highest accident rate in Oregon and Washington.


The Chamber has consistently asked the question, "Can we build this without a local share?" The local, state and federal governments have told us consistently, we need a local share. While this is a federal highway, 70 % of the traffic on the bridge enters and exits within the “Bridge Influence Area,” a five-mile stretch of freeway between Portland and Vancouver. The Washington State Legislature has authority to toll. The Washington Transportation Commission has the authority to set the amount and duration of the toll. Project officials have already determined that the I-205 bridge will not be tolled to support the CRC.

Light Rail

Local governments have already approved the transit option of light rail in approving the Local Preferred Option. The FTA (Federal Transit Administration will pay about 85% of the construction of light rail. This is the least expensive part of the project from a local funding perspective. One-third of the project is the bridge itself, another third is the necessary interchanges in the five-mile Bridge Influence Area, and the final third is transit. Oregon Delegation will provide a significant portion of federal funds and will only support the bridge if transit is part of the project.

Federal Highways will consider the project to be more competitive and viable for major funds if transit is included.

Project Resources:

Columbia River Crossing -- Contractor's Site

Columbia River Crossing -- Project Site

Columbia River Crossing Coalition (Business & Community Advocates)

CRC Coalition on Facebook