Local View: Case for new I-5 Bridge built upon faulty data

The Columbian:

No prudent public official, and no responsible newspaper (see 7/22/11 Oregonian editorial), should be endorsing a proposal to spend almost $4 billion on this mega-project absent accurate and current information.

Ever since the CRC released its Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project, critics have argued the document seriously overestimated future traffic volumes and significantly overstated likely toll revenues needed to pay for the most expensive public works project in the region’s history. Portland economist Joe Cortright was among the most thoughtful and persistent of such critics, offering testimony at dozens of public hearings.

Public officials repeatedly ignored Cortright’s analysis, sometimes suggesting he and other members of the public had no business even suggesting the “experts” at the CRC could be wrong. Most recently, Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder insisted on noting “for the record” at a Metro meeting that Cortright’s criticisms of CRC’s traffic estimates had not been “peer-reviewed” and therefore should not be taken seriously. Now we know Burkholder, and many other CRC backers, owe Cortright an apology.

Read the full article here. Discuss below.

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