The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is previewing the biggest piece of coal the Oregon State Legislature will ever find in its Christmas stocking – EVER!
ODOT’s report on the condition of Oregon’s bridges shows that in order for a few of them to survive will require over five billion dollars in retro-fits and overall restrengthening to make it possible for them to survive a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. Bridges along the coast are gonners according to the ODOT report, including the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport, the Astoria-Megler Bridge connecting Asotia to southwest Washington, the Interstate Bridge linking Portland to Vancouver and the Ross Island and Rainier-Longview Bridges in the Portland area
ODOT said the five billion or so dollars it would take to give these spans a fighting chance, along with some others that are relatively youthful.
The legislature will have a ton of homework to do to figure out where all that money will come from – whether from higher gas taxes, toll roads or a “Travel Tax” stemming from mileage driven every year.
Despite that, ODOT says the state won’t be able to go it alone on funding these massive projects. It’s going to need lots of help. To leave things status quo, says ODOT, would be to allow irreparable harm to Oregon’s overall economy which would cause more jobs lost than what we saw in the 2008 stock market crash.
This less than happy scenario plays out in a story produced by The Oregonian. Click here.