Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

8-lane bridge seems dead-end idea
The Columbian ^ | Saturday, June 26, 2010 | Erik Robinson

Posted on 06/26/2010 2:47:25 PM PDT by Willie Green

Engineers’ assessment is that traffic will require more capacity by 2030

PORTLAND — An eight-lane bridge across the Columbia River would be too small to accommodate future traffic demand unless there is a major increase in the number of drivers deciding to take the bus or avoiding rush hour altogether, according to an engineering firm hired by the city of Portland to consider a smaller Interstate 5 bridge.

Concerned about the mammoth size of the 10-lane Columbia River Crossing currently being proposed, the city wanted to look at a slimmer version.

The engineering firm delivered its assessment Friday during a meeting of the bistate Project Sponsors Council. URS Corp. accounted for anticipated traffic demand in 2030.

“The conclusion that jumped out to us was a capacity issue,” said Ted Rutledge, URS transportation manager based in Denver. “Both northbound and southbound were really at or over capacity. So based on that alone, it’s not going to meet the need.”

However, Rutledge told members of the bistate panel that the project could save $50 million building a slimmer version of the current 10-lane proposal and still meet the multibillion-dollar project’s purpose and need. Bridge planners envision a span striped for 10 lanes but expandable to 12 if needed in the future.

Henry Hewitt, the council’s co-chairman, suggested sending the matter back to city and state transportation planners, who would then deliver a recommendation during the council’s next scheduled meeting on July 16.

Washington members of the council made it clear they were dubious about the eight-lane concept.

URS found that the eight-lane bridge would accommodate only 78 percent of the anticipated traffic demand in 2030. And that assumes the number of people crossing the bridge who ride light rail and buses increases from about 3 percent today to 15 percent in 2030.

Avoiding traffic paralysis on an eight-lane bridge would require aggressive use of carpooling, enhanced bus service and jacking up toll rates from $2 to $3 to suppress rush-hour demand, the firm concluded.

“It’s a big number,” Rutledge said. “There’s no getting around it.”

The concept appeared to be a nonstarter with Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart.

“I don’t consider paying higher tolls for less mobility effective,” he said. “Charging more for less isn’t creating a better cost-benefit for those people who are paying it.”

The project, with a price tag estimated at $2.6 billion to $3.6 billion, would replace twin three-lane drawbridges, improve four miles of I-5 on both sides of the river and extend Portland’s light-rail transit system into Vancouver.

Given the increase in toll rates likely to be necessary to forestall congestion on an eight-lane span in 2030, Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond said she’s inclined to drop further consideration of the eight-lane option.

“To constrain people’s ability to work in the region, I think is a problem,” she said.

Hammond’s comments generated a heated exchange with Portland Mayor Sam Adams. The mayor said he takes “serious umbrage” with Hammond’s assertion that aggressive measures to manage demand on the bridge somehow artificially constrain traffic, as if adding freeway lanes were an unquestioned foregone conclusion.

Concrete and asphalt are choices, too. “That’s as much social engineering as a carpool,” added David Bragdon, president of the Portland-area Metro council.


TOPICS: Government; US: Oregon; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: boxcarwillie; bridge; choochoocharlie; highways; lightrail; tolls
Eight? Ten? Twelve? lane bridges are absurd.
We need to provide more light rail to stop this insanity.
1 posted on 06/26/2010 2:47:28 PM PDT by Willie Green
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Willie Green

They should go for overcapacity. Saves a lot of money and work later when it is needed a few years down the road.


2 posted on 06/26/2010 2:51:48 PM PDT by CORedneck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CORedneck

You build it and they will come.


3 posted on 06/26/2010 2:55:23 PM PDT by ully2 (ully)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green
We need to let people, who build their cities astraddle a great river, fall right in it, instead of milking the nations tax payers to cover their screw up .

Sometimes I live in the country, Sometimes I live in the town. Sometimes I get a great notion. To jump into the river an' drown ...

4 posted on 06/26/2010 2:59:01 PM PDT by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it freedom has a flavor the protected will never know .F Trp 8th Cav)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green
We need to provide more light rail to stop this insanity.

Photobucket

5 posted on 06/26/2010 2:59:51 PM PDT by digger48
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green

Why are they absurd man? Kansas City is currently building a new bridge (the Christopher Bond Bridge in honor of the former Missouri governor and current, soon to be retired Senator) that will replace a 1954 span that long ago outgrew it’s ability to handle daily traffic demands. The new bridge will allow six lanes of traffic on I-35 and is purported to be expandable to 8 lanes.

So if 16 lanes are needed at certain times of day in Portland, why not? High speed or slow speed, light or heavy rail is not the answer. It contrains freedom to move about and isn’t freedom the bulwark of a free and prosperous nation, any nation?


6 posted on 06/26/2010 3:00:15 PM PDT by CARTOUCHE (The game continues. Let them come for me and mine.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green
We need to provide more light rail to stop this insanity.

Use guns if we have to to force people on these light rail boondoggles. /s

7 posted on 06/26/2010 3:02:42 PM PDT by saminfl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CARTOUCHE

So, Willie, you work for Westinghouse in Pittsburgh, right?


8 posted on 06/26/2010 3:03:20 PM PDT by CARTOUCHE (The game continues. Let them come for me and mine.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green

Light rail will replace about one highway lane each direction. Since the proposed bridge already includes light rail, I don’t see where you’re going to get much gain over the 10 lane bridge proposed. And it sounds like the tolls are probably going to about equal the rail fares.


9 posted on 06/26/2010 3:03:49 PM PDT by PAR35
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CARTOUCHE

Railroads don’t go where I want to go when I want to go there. They don’t stop when and where I want to stop for an ammount of time I want to stop for.

Looking at the fantasy failroad plans, it looks like they have every intent of keeping me from going where I want.


10 posted on 06/26/2010 3:11:12 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green

Who will be using them, what rush hour? No one will have a job...


11 posted on 06/26/2010 3:17:41 PM PDT by smalltownslick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CARTOUCHE
So if 16 lanes are needed at certain times of day in Portland, why not? High speed or slow speed, light or heavy rail is not the answer. It contrains freedom to move about and isn’t freedom the bulwark of a free and prosperous nation, any nation?

Where did you get the silly idea that 16-lanes
will provide "freedom to move about"?


12 posted on 06/26/2010 3:19:34 PM PDT by Willie Green ("Some people march to the beat of a different drum - and some people polka. ..")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green
Throw in the cost of government subsidized light rail and the price tag for an 10 lane bridge looks better and better.
13 posted on 06/26/2010 3:25:56 PM PDT by Popman (Obama Presidential Timber: Worm Eaten Balsa Wood)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green

Willie, Willie, Willie, tollgates are the extension of bureaucratic power and job creation of the state (county).
Tollgates are an anachronism. My big truck is equipped with the Pre-Pass system and the Oklahoma Pike Pass system which permits my free and unhindered operation past such old backups as you have displayed. Nice try though and I give you credit for slowing the conversation to the speed of light rail.


14 posted on 06/26/2010 3:27:55 PM PDT by CARTOUCHE (The game continues. Let them come for me and mine.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green

Light rail sucks, 4 hrs via light rail what takes 40 mins in a car


15 posted on 06/26/2010 3:30:24 PM PDT by dila813
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: digger48

I just love this flamin train video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcFwAUfxZLA


16 posted on 06/26/2010 3:41:50 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: CARTOUCHE
My big truck is equipped with the Pre-Pass system and the Oklahoma Pike Pass system which permits my free and unhindered operation past such old backups as you have displayed.

That's not "freedom".
That's "boil the frog".

Once Big Brother gets you to install those things, they'll be able to track you down whereever you go.
Heck, I bet they already have plans to install sensors in your neighborhood to charge you a toll for backing out of your driveway.

Thank God I'm getting old and hopefully won't live long enough to see it.
But mark my words, it IS already being discussed as a method of financing road construction/maintenance because they can't collect a gasoline tax from the battery powered cars.

17 posted on 06/26/2010 3:44:37 PM PDT by Willie Green ("Some people march to the beat of a different drum - and some people polka. ..")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green
Where did you get the silly idea that 16-lanes will provide "freedom to move about"?

About a year ago, a long train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed in near me in Rockford, Illinois. These things happen.

The intersection was blocked off for all vehicular traffic (Milford and Sandy Hollow). These vehicles had to take a five minute detour, and if they knew ahead of time could take a different route altogether.

Of course, ALL of the rails in that vicinity were cut off. If we relied on light rail, we would be completely out of luck. Even a catastrophic bridge collapse in one of the busiest rush hours in the world was doable, the Mianus Bridge collapse in southeastern CT, as folks could take the Wilburcross/Merritt Parkway, with some taking local roads to get around on I-95. We don't have that kind of redundancy with rail.


18 posted on 06/26/2010 3:52:52 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green

Uh, Willie, Portland, OR is Nirvana for your central planning idiocy.


19 posted on 06/26/2010 3:55:08 PM PDT by dirtboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green
Once Big Brother gets you to install those things, they'll be able to track you down whereever you go.

I don't like that either. In fact, I live in Illinois and pay double because I want to avoid putting such a tracking device in my car. If it were just about tolls, it wouldn't have to be tied to a particular car with a recorded plate, and purchasing could be as anonymous as an international phone card at the 7-11.

Of course, Amtrak checks ID's these days, I believe.
20 posted on 06/26/2010 3:55:32 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: CARTOUCHE
Heck, I bet they already have plans to install sensors in your neighborhood to charge you a toll for backing out of your driveway.

Rip that thing out of your truck so they can't track you down and plunder your bank account.
Then jump on the light-rail bandwagon to help save gas and postpone the coming shortages.

21 posted on 06/26/2010 3:56:41 PM PDT by Willie Green ("Some people march to the beat of a different drum - and some people polka. ..")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green
"We need to provide more light rail to stop this insanity."

Ah, yes. "Light rail", the government mandated socialist answer to the problem. Face it, nobody wants rail except government planners and their socialist underwriters.

22 posted on 06/26/2010 3:56:47 PM PDT by Wonder Warthog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green

Except in areas of very high population density light rail is a proven money loser.

Doesn’t go where people want to go when people need to be there. Further when they do get to their location they are stuck without a car to get from the rail station to their final destination.


23 posted on 06/26/2010 3:57:43 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green

“Then jump on the light-rail bandwagon to help save gas and postpone the coming shortages. “

Al Gore is that you?


24 posted on 06/26/2010 3:58:51 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green

Light rail is controlled by unions. These unions would love to be able to shut down a city to extort higher pay. Why should these people get such high pay when tax payers must subsidize them. Light rail will only be viable if we get rid of the unions.


25 posted on 06/26/2010 4:04:47 PM PDT by ThomasThomas (Isn't enough always enough?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green

We do have lightrail and it carries 1-2 per trip losing about $250K per month after the 2 Billion initial rat hole. Using the Peoples Republic of Portland as an example is a good choice for you. Perhaps they could build an 8 lane bike bridge?

Pray for America


26 posted on 06/26/2010 4:11:39 PM PDT by bray (Did Rush say Complete Failure?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dr. Sivana
I don't like that either. In fact, I live in Illinois and pay double because I want to avoid putting such a tracking device in my car. If it were just about tolls, it wouldn't have to be tied to a particular car with a recorded plate, and purchasing could be as anonymous as an international phone card at the 7-11

It's like letting them place a taxi-meter in your personal car, with a direct Internet link to siphon money out of your bank account.

Obviously, we aren't there yet.
But that's definitely the direction that the technology is trending.

27 posted on 06/26/2010 4:14:07 PM PDT by Willie Green ("Some people march to the beat of a different drum - and some people polka. ..")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: digger48
Very good! We could always be modern and adopt the model provided by the Japanese subways.


28 posted on 06/26/2010 4:34:06 PM PDT by JimSEA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Dr. Sivana

We pay extra tolls, too, to avoid having then tracking device. No thanks- I pay cash at toll booths.


29 posted on 06/26/2010 4:55:23 PM PDT by conservative cat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: 21twelve; Feasor13; matt1234; Bosun; washingtoncon; Pavegunner72; cherry; aw93472; WeatherGuy; ...
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Say WA? Evergreen State ping

Quick link: WA State Board

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this ping list.
Ping sionnsar if you see a Washington state related thread.

30 posted on 06/26/2010 4:56:00 PM PDT by sionnsar (IranAzadi|5yst3m 0wn3d-it's N0t Y0ur5:SONY|Remember Neda Agha-Soltan|TV--it's NOT news you can trust)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green

I know my company would frown on that idea. The truck is my paycheck, not my albatross. Light rail wont transport your toilet paper or your blood pressure medications. High speed rail at 150 mph+ might compete effectively with commercial aviation but will require PRIVATE INVESTMENT to make it work. That means not my money nor yours. So Westinghouse IS your employer, right?


31 posted on 06/26/2010 5:06:34 PM PDT by CARTOUCHE (The game continues. Let them come for me and mine.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: JimSEA
Check out the film "BARAKA"
either this edited version showing just the human traffic portions.
or
Baraka Part 5 of 9 (start at minute 3)
32 posted on 06/26/2010 5:06:59 PM PDT by Solitar ("My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them." -- Barry Goldwater)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: CARTOUCHE
So Westinghouse IS your employer, right?

???

No.

I worked there almost 40 years ago the nuclear power division in a summer student engineering program.

But good ol' Circle Bar W has been dead for years: Who killed Westinghouse?

There are still remnants of the business maintaining the brand name, but they're all actually owned by someone else.

33 posted on 06/26/2010 5:21:55 PM PDT by Willie Green ("Some people march to the beat of a different drum - and some people polka. ..")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green

If I recall SF Bay Area Rapid Transit cars were produced by Westinghouse in suburban Pgh. If I mis-remembered my apologies.

I still believe that light rail is a boondoggle that horse-drawn trolleys are equivalent to. High speed rail may be the answer but not if it is subsidized by taxpayer dollars.


34 posted on 06/26/2010 5:28:05 PM PDT by CARTOUCHE (The game continues. Let them come for me and mine.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green
Or they could build two smaller bridges.

And keep the two three-lane drawbridges, to provide extra capacity.

Most cities located on a major river have more than one bridge across it. See Pittsburgh, for example. Cincinnati. Or St. Louis. Even New Orleans.

Hell, Astoria, Longview, Pasco and The Dalles have one bridge. Shouldn't Portland have more than one...???

35 posted on 06/26/2010 5:32:56 PM PDT by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green

Don’t build the bridge or the rail.

There’s no problem. I don’t have a problem with the traffic. The people in traffic want to be there. It’s quite popular. So, what’s the problem?

Don’t like traffic? Move. Stay. Accept. What ever.


36 posted on 06/26/2010 5:56:24 PM PDT by Leisler ("Over time they create a legal system that plunders and a moral code that glorifies it." F. Bastiat)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CARTOUCHE
If I recall SF Bay Area Rapid Transit cars were produced by Westinghouse in suburban Pgh. If I mis-remembered my apologies.

No, your memory is OK, that is still one of the Westinghouse "remnants" that I mentioned.
Somewhere along the line, that division became "Adtranz" and was mixed in with DaimlerChrysler for a while, but I think they're part of Bombardier nowadays.

It gets confusing... I'm not even sure I got the full story right.

But that division that made "People Movers" and Pittshburgh's "Skybus" is still located in West Mifflin and I'm pretty sure they're part of Bombardier now. So the might also still be using the Westinghouse name whenever it's appropriate. (service spare parts or whatever)

I think Westinghouse Air Brake (WABCO) is still operating in the Wilmerding section of Pittsburgh, but it looks like that one merged with MotivePower Industries and calls itself Wabtec now.

I still believe that light rail is a boondoggle that horse-drawn trolleys are equivalent to.

I'm certain that Lobbyists for NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) appreciate your gullibility.
Keep them in mind the next time gas skyrockets at the pump.

37 posted on 06/26/2010 6:06:46 PM PDT by Willie Green ("Some people march to the beat of a different drum - and some people polka. ..")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green

There is a way around this problem that on the surface sounds fantastic and improbable, but is actually practical.

In modern airport concourses, there are “moving sidewalks” that efficiently carry a high volume of pedestrian traffic long distances. They are a marvel, because otherwise pedestrians would have to walk several congested blocks, with frequent clogs of groups of people. Instead, there are two moving sidewalks, and a wide, almost empty area between them for anyone else, such as courtesy vehicles.

This could be applied to multi-lane bridges, and would keep traffic flowing at a constant rate of speed.

The two normal middle lanes would be for heavy vehicles, and when traffic was light enough for faster speeds for passenger vehicles. Drivers who went onto the moving lanes would just put their vehicle into neutral, then park, and ride the distance of the bridge. The only oddity would be for special pull out lanes at the end of the bridge, so vehicles with engine problems could coast out of the flow of traffic.

This technique could also be used in bottleneck sections of freeways, that regularly cause traffic jams.

Importantly, in either case, the rolling roads would only be used during times of peak congestion.


38 posted on 06/26/2010 6:12:56 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Can’t build bridges, need the money to buy new entertainment centers for crack whores squirting out babies


39 posted on 06/26/2010 6:21:29 PM PDT by dsrtsage (One half of all people have below average IQ...In the US the number is 54%)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

One of the thing that annoys me most about the east is the proliferation of toll roads. That is what gas taxes are for. If a state has toll roads, then they should have no gas tax and vice versa.


40 posted on 06/26/2010 6:26:43 PM PDT by dsrtsage (One half of all people have below average IQ...In the US the number is 54%)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green

Ha....we got light rail running 18 hours a day in Seattle...you can watch the empty rail cars go by.


41 posted on 06/26/2010 7:16:48 PM PDT by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green; Irisshlass; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...
Willie the Green promotes MORE huge government spending!
We need to provide more light rail to stop this insanity.

42 posted on 06/26/2010 7:19:53 PM PDT by narses ( 'Prefer nothing to the love of Christ.')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: narses
We need more light rail because it is so safe and environmentally sound.


43 posted on 06/26/2010 7:48:53 PM PDT by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Willie Green

I don’t want any toll on this bridge. Leave the existing bridge in place; it’s paid for.

The last thing we need is a toll bridge with light rail. The voters in Vancouver have already voted against it. A regular lane of traffic moves many times more people than a light rail line.

By the way, this bridge is not intended to have any more actual through lanes than the current bridge. They’re just counting entry/exit lanes as regular lanes.


44 posted on 06/27/2010 6:35:51 AM PDT by B Knotts (Just another Tenther)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson