Bridge leadership hazy

Issues over the proposed Columbia River bridge raise questions about project leadership.

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Many supporters of the new bridge agree that tolling the current crossings is an ideal way to fund its construction. But it’s still unclear when tolling should begin, and leadership of the project remains undefined.

The state Legislature voted during its 2009 session to let the Oregon Department of Transportation start collecting tolls by January 2011. But Gov. Ted Kulongoski scuttled that idea by vetoing Senate Bill 580, which would have allowed ODOT to implement tolling on the Interstate-5 and Interstate-205 bridges.

Advocates and opponents of the plan to build a new bridge that would connect Washington and Oregon say the disagreement on the timeline of tolling is symptomatic of a larger problem. The location and complexity of the bridge project means there is a large number of stakeholders involved, but leadership isn’t defined yet.

Read the full story at the Daily Journal of Commerce.