Looks like the State Senator who is leading the charge against Light Rail on the CRC is about to end up losing the bridge project entirely. Governor Kitzahber of Oregon is saying, no Light Rail on the CRC, no CRC. Seattle TImes
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber’s office says a proposed $3.4 billion Columbia River bridge will die if Washington state tries to remove light rail from the project.
“Governor Kitzhaber has been clear from the start: No light rail. No project. No kidding,” Tim Raphael, a spokesman for Kitzhaber, said in a statement released Monday.
The Interstate 5 bridge between Vancouver and Portland has been in the works for years, and its fate appears to largely rest on whether Washington state agrees to put up $450 million as its share of the cost.
Democrats support the move, but the GOP-controlled majority in the state Senate has said it will reject any bridge proposal containing light rail.
Trying to keep partisan politics out of this, but again, it was just a handful of votes last year that has led too this crisis in the long battle to get LRT on the Columbia River Crossing. If State Senator Don Benton(R-49, Vancouver) had lost, the shaky coalition in the state senate would not exist, the 2 Democrats(one is a conservative rural one, and the other used to be a Republican) would not have been able to make their power play. Things may have gone differently. My guess, is that they are counting on Governor Kitzhaber to be a pushover, and give in for the greater good of the region. I have heard of him before, when he was Governor the first time(he severed two terms from 1995-2003), he was called Dr. NO, as he often had an opposing party in control of the legislature, and they clashed. Westside MAX, now the Hillsboro segment of the Blue LIne, opened during that term, as well as the Red Line.