Oregon House approves new Columbia River bridge

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Associated Press

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 1:33 PM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon House has approved $450 million in bonds to help pay for a new Interstate 5 bridge connecting Portland and Vancouver across the Columbia River.

The House's 45-11 vote on Monday sends the measure to the Senate. The money will be spent only if Washington state comes up with its own $450 million share, the federal government puts up more than $1 billion and the U.S. Coast Guard issues a permit.

The $3.4 billion project would include a new bridge for vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists and light rail trains, along with new interchanges on both sides of the river.

It has strong support from business groups that hope to speed the flow of freight and unions looking forward to new construction jobs. Vocal opponents include light rail opponents, neighborhood activists and anti-tax groups.

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