Kitzhaber on CRC: It's time to fish or cut bait

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

A week before the Oregon Legislature goes into its February session, Governor John Kitzhaber has made it clear to legislative leaders exactly what he expects to happen on the Columbia River Crossing.

In short, fish or cut bait:

Just under a year ago, we joined together to authorize Oregon’s share of the project’s funding and set the stage for the state of Washington to do its part and fund its portion of the project. Unfortunately, they were not able to get their work done under that framework. ...

The Oregon Legislature has an Oregon-led option ready for consideration in the February session with the critical pieces of information necessary to make an informed decision. I urge you to take the appropriate steps to move the Oregon-led project into the construction phase by reauthorizing the state’s financial commitment and adopting the necessary statutory changes to enhance existing tolling authority to ensure appropriate and adequate tolling enforcement. ...

Oregon must either decisively move the project to construction or refocus and reprioritize our resources. A project in limbo is the worst and most expensive outcome for Oregon, and continuing expenditures to sustain work without progress is a waste of money and resources.

I have notified Governor Inslee, our federal and local partners, Oregon Transportation Commissioners and ODOT Director Garrett that without the appropriate action from the Oregon Legislature by March 9, 2014, and the appropriate action from the state of Washington by March 15, 2014, ODOT will close the project and begin archiving materials.

Indecision and further delays are simply too costly for Oregon. I have appreciated your consideration of this important transportation project, and I know you share my commitment to focusing the state’s resources, finding solutions and producing results.

(My bolding.) Read the Governor's full letter here (pdf).


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