The following are 6 steps that can be taken after the current build alternatives are rejected because of their cost and negative impact on global climate change.
Step 1 -Tolls
- Modulates the flow of traffic across the existing bridges, especially during peak hours in the prime direction.
- Allows the flow of essential commercial traffic without massive infrastructure development.
- Raises revenue.
- Apply for federal demonstration grant to establish an electronic and license recognition (no tollbooths), dynamic, variable rate toll system on the existing I-5 bridges.
- I-205 Bridge could also be tolled.
- Slight implementation costs, but would raise more than enough revenue to pay for the collection costs
Step 2 – Improve Public Transit
- Provides a viable travel alternative to the private automobile, especially for commuters.
- Extend MAX north to Hayden Island as part of the Milwaukie Light Rail Project in conjunction with an eastside connection between OMSI and the Rose Quarter.
- Provides a 13 mile long north/south high capacity rapid transit line between Hayden Island and Milwaukie (42 minutes) with daily transfer connections to 550 east/west MAX trains and over 1,650 TriMet buses.
- Hayden Island provides a convenient location for C-Tran buses to interface with the TriMet system.
- The Portland Harbor MAX Bridge could also accommodate pedestrians, bikes and possibly local vehicle traffic.
Step 3 - Fix the Railroad Bridge
- Allows tugs and their tows to pass safely under the “hump” of the Interstate Bridges eliminating the need for bridge lifts except for rare occasions.
- Provides more clearance at the Railroad Bridge for all vessels.
- Seismically upgrades the Railroad Bridge’s opening span.
- Increases rail capacity by reducing opening time.
- Re-apply for Truman-Hobbs funds to replace the old swing span with a wider lift span located closer to the center of the river as proposed by the Columbia River Tugboat Association in 2002.
- $ 42 million (2002 dollars)
- No local funds
Step 4 – Seismic Upgrade
- Reinforce the existing structures to withstand a major seismic event.
- Current CRC recommendation for the Supplemental Bridge Alternatives.
- $125 – 265 million (2006 dollars)
- Federal funds and Oregon’s share of toll revenues.
Step 5 – Modify ramps (Hayden Island)
- Reduce local traffic congestion.
- Provide fast convenient C-Tran bus access to Hayden Island
- Provide better NB truck access to I-5
- Add truck bypass lane from Marine Drive to Hayden Island. (convert existing bike/ped. lane on Portland Harbor Bridge to general traffic)
- Limit NB Hayden Island on-ramp traffic to buses and emergency vehicles in the prime direction during peak hours.
- Oregon’s share of toll revenue
Step 6 – Light Rail to Clark County
- Improves transit service to Clark County
- Reduces operating cost to meet high capacity demand in corridor
- Allows C-Tran the flexibility to expand and improve its local feeder bus network.
- Construct a downstream light rail bridge with an opening span, following the profile of the existing Interstate Bridges. (less costly than a high span; it would not normally open during hours of rail operation due to Step 3 above)
- Provide for bikes and pedestrians.
- It could also be built to provide for local vehicles (tolled?)
- It could also be built to accommodate SB SR14 traffic, (tolled) allowing the SB freeway traffic to flow more smoothly over the existing bridges.
- Would vary because of vehicle options selected.
- Undetermined, but significantly less than current proposals because it would be much shorter and would not include interchange modifications.
- Could be funded by FTA and Washington toll revenue - FHWA, if vehicles are included.