OR Treasurer Questions Traffic, Toll Revenue for CRC Project

The Columbian:

“I want to make one thing very clear, because this could be construed as a criticism of prior financial analysis,” Wheeler said. “The economy obviously took a significant hit, and that had an impact on employment numbers, and that has in turn driven lower financial assumptions.”

However, one consultant, Robert Bain of London-based RB Consult LTD, a former Standard & Poor’s ratings analyst who has published widely on problems with the traffic and toll forecasting process, said traffic volumes have been flattening off over the past 15 to 20 years, before the recession.

Bain said that Metro failed to look at historical trends and instead ran with ever-increasing job and traffic increases, leaving key questions unanswered.

“Is the flattening-off on I-5 … a general trend that could continue into the future; or is it simply that the bridge is operating for much of the day at or near capacity (in which case capacity enhancements could result in an uplift of future demand)?” Bain wrote. “This issue should be addressed going forward.”

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