PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon and Washington lawmakers tasked with reviving moribund talks to replace the Interstate Bridge will meet for the first-time. The span connects Vancouver, Wash., and Portland, Ore.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reported members from Oregon’s eight-person bipartisan committee comprised of House and Senate politicians, are scheduled to meet in Vancouver with their Washington counterparts.
The lawmakers will first tour the Interstate Bridge spanning the Columbia River then hold a public hearing at 1:45 p.m. Friday.
While it’s the first official meeting of the bistate delegation, in December 2018, a coalition of lawmakers from each state met in an occasionally tense gathering in Portland, where the politicians tried to make amends over lingering heartache carried forward from the failed Columbia River Crossing project.
Last month, the states received another grace period from the federal government that gives additional time to show progress on building a new bridge.
Oregon and Washington had faced a $140 million collective debt owed to federal highway officials for planning costs tied to the Columbia River Crossing project.
Both states are now on a fast track toward constructing a new bridge, potentially by 2025.