Does History Repeat Itself? When YOU get involved it does!
When it comes to constructing bridges between Oregon and Washington Political Squabbling is now entering its THIRD CENTURY ~ yes Third CENTURY!
In the 1890’s plans for a vehicle bridge where the BNSF rail line is fell apart due to politics between the states.
The 1908 Rail Bridge across the Columbia River originally was to have vehicles, after “political fighting” the bridge was built without road access. The railroad company did not want to have to deal with the “local politics” even if they could make money on vehicle tolls.
Where would we be without the 1917 I-5 Interstate Bridge across the Columbia River? Thanks to the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce for bringing sacks of gold coins to The Portland City Club. After decades of “political fighting” between the states, the citizen leaders led responsibly construct our bridge. (A County to County bridge)
Lewis and Clark Longview Bridge
The Lewis and Clark Longview Bridge was built in 1930 by community leaders after decades of “political squabbling” with Portland. The legislators of Oregon and Washington stopped talking and ended all plans for a bridge. The perfect time for citizen leaders to step up and they did. Thank You, very much.
The citizen leaders of Longview did the same thing the business people of Vancouver and Portland did just a decade earlier constructing a bridge “without the states involvement or interference!” Within a few years the land was purchased, bonds sold, and a bridge constructed with tolls. The bridge was privately built and owned until the State of Washington purchased it from the investors.
St. Johns Bridge
The St. Johns’ Bridge is a very important bridge. We only have this bridge because the business leaders and citizens of St. Johns formed the St. Johns Boosters in 1926 to build the bridge after Portland refused to be involved in a bridge 5 miles away that, “would hardly ever be used.” Within three decades of the opening of the St. Johns’ Bridge an additional bridge to Rivergate was deemed necessary by the transportation departments.
This is a pattern that works!
A citizens’ led “bridge push” has kicked-off! We believe it is important to initiate and support another citizens led bridge project! What if citizen leadership is successful? Why not give it a shot? At the very least do you know what the proposed alignments of the Third Bridge Now are? Or that a new freeway connecting our ports and Hwy 30 to Vancouver and Portland downtown’s is possible. What will it do for your business, the community, and environment? Will it strengthen our ports and lessen congestion responsibly? Do more routes provide more safety? This continually studied problem since 1979 for additional bridges between Oregon and Washington have spent $100’s of millions of our tax dollars without a solution.
Community led projects can receive the same funding as Government projects when its provides for the public good.
We all owe a big thank you to our community members who showed leadership and got involved so we would have this amazing infrastructure ~ I-5 Interstate Bridge ~ Lewis Clark Longview Bridge ~ St Johns’ Bridge. Now let’s get to work so the next generation will be thankful for our leadership in building bridges.
Economic Transportation Alliance is a 501c3 Non- Profit.