Panel studying Northwest bridge project

An independent panel is reviewing the Columbia River Crossing Project that would connect Portland, Ore. and Vancouver, Wash.

The panel, which began meeting this week, will assess the implementation plan for the project, review the financial plan for the project and review and evaluate post-construction performance measures. The panel, appointed by governors of Oregon and Washington, includes national experts in design, cost estimation, mitigation planning and management of large urban transportation projects.

The panel meetings will be open to the public. Additional meetings are planned for June 1, 2, 17 and 18. July 7 and 8 meetings are tentative. A final report will go to the governors by July 31. 

The proposed bridge would accommodate vehicles, light rail and bike traffic. Cost estimates have ranged as high as $4 billion. The state transportation departments are hoping to get federal money for the project.

More information is available on the panel’s website at