Vancouver, Wash. – The ports of Vancouver, Camas-Washougal and Ridgefield applaud the Washington State Legislature’s decision to re-open the planning process for replacement of the Interstate 5 Bridge between Washington and Oregon.

The legislature today passed Substitute Senate Bill 5806, which enables the Washington State and Oregon departments of transportation to begin a planning process; creates a bi-state legislative action committee; reviews and confirms lead roles and responsibilities related to a future I-5 Bridge; and ensures adequate funding for the planning process to begin.

Several Clark County legislators championed the bill, including Sens. Annette Cleveland (D-49), Ann Rivers (R-18) and Lynda Wilson (R-17), and Reps. Sharon Wylie (D-49), Monica Stonier (D-49), Brandon Vick (R-18) and Paul Harris (R-17).

“We greatly appreciate the support of our local lawmakers and the legislature’s decision,” said Port of Vancouver CEO Julianna Marler. “The I-5 Bridge is a key physical and economic link for our states and the entire West Coast. As we all continue to grow and more goods and people need to move, we must find ways to address mobility on I-5 to support economic health at the local, regional and national levels. This legislation opens the door to making that happen.”

“This is a great step forward for the legislature in recognizing the statewide importance of the I-5 Bridge replacement,” said Port of Camas-Washougal Executive Director David Ripp. “With traffic congestion throughout the I-5 corridor negatively impacting freight mobility, the economies of Southwest Washington and the Portland metropolitan area, this border crossing replacement has become increasingly necessary.”

“This action speaks to the fact that people and freight will be moving on I-5 deep into the 21st century,” said Port of Ridgefield CEO Brent Grening. “Connectivity between communities is critical to our economic success, and the modern infrastructure we build today, with tomorrow in mind, will help us create the state-of-the-art economy we will need in the future.”

According to data from the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council, peak hour vehicle and truck delays related to the I-5 Bridge have increased by more than 50 percent year over year as the regional economy recovered after the 2008 recession.

This February, the three ports passed a joint resolution supporting legislative efforts to re-open conversations about replacing the I-5 Bridge to address freight and commuter mobility issues.

– POV –

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