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|On the Scene|
|Thursday, March 25, 2010|
BY KEVIN MANAHAN
The Sellwood Bridge is deteriorating as questions arise over whether Multnomah County or Clackamas County is responsible for its replacement. The approval of funding for the Newberg-Dundee bypass is being criticized as a political maneuver. And the fate of the Columbia River Crossing remains unknown while the debate over its size, impact and whether it should even be built keeps its progress in limbo. In other words, the Portland area’s regional transportation governance is a big, gridlocked mess.
“It seems inappropriate that a regional facility be supported to a disproportionate extent by just one part of the region,” the report says. When the Legislature earmarked funding for the Newberg-Dundee bypass and named the project a top priority, concerns were raised since the Legislature traditionally only provides funding but does not determine the priorities (critics saw it as a way to win favor from Sen. Larry George, who represents the area affected by the project). As for the CRC, it’s no secret that differing views on both sides of the river regarding land-use planning and transportation are clogging up any significant progress.
Kevin Manahan is the online editor for Oregon Business.
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