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CRC talking point...


Talking Points - If we are concerned about fixing traffic safety and blockages we should stop the CRC freeway project


The CRC is sold with lies.

- WA State has rejected the project and now Oregon will keep trying to building it alone

Click here for the full document of these bulleted items by activist Ron Buel

- ODOT's own safety data from 2005 contradicts ODOT in 2013.

2013: "These CRC bridges need to be replaced,”

2005: "With ongoing preservation, the bridges can serve the public for another 60 years."

 Here's the 2005 Data that was deleted by ODOT but saved by the Tides Foundation Project


- The Oregon Department of Transportation picked a design based on opinion of a few people who would also gain from the design. There was no bid process. There was no cost analysis of many designs.    ODOT engineers used only their opinion to pick a final design.  No facts were used to pick the current design.  

See the document below for more details on ODOT opinion.

- Here the CRC law passed by the Oregon House and Senate.   It’s full of loopholes and only funds the startup of the project.  See the law HB 2800 see the law & analysis.    The law has a variety of loopholes.  The law does not fund the project, because it only funds startup funds.  This is a risk to safety, jobs and our ability to pay the full price of construction plus interest plus operating costs.

- Even if this bridge was a free gift from France, we need a design that’s better for business and the environment.   The one Representative who spoke against this stated “we need to do something to move people and freight better” (Rep Frederick ) The children living near this project have the highest rates of asthma in the State.  

- The designers do not have realistic drawings to show lawmakers.  Senators are demanding pictures, artwork or computer videos to show what the final project would look like.  One Senator stated:     "I have neither seen nor been able to obtain anything other than vague conceptual renderings of the proposed bridge and interchanges. Our latest briefing were during the noon hour today when the presenter was unable to provide the requested visual renderings.  I have deep and ongoing concerns regarding the potential total cost of the project, the funding sources, and the detail of how the debt will be structured ….(once started it’s) highly unlikely that it will be abandoned due to cost overruns regardless of the total final cost." ( Source )


- This bridge does not need replacement, it is far safer than the politicians say.  Other stretches of I-5 are more dangerous, and seismically, the Columbia Interstate Bridge is sturdier than others, including the Interstate 5 Marquam bridge near OMSI.

- $50 million can prevent 95% of river boats halting interstate traffic:  We don’t need a 18 lane bridge to reduce traffic.   Fixing and realigning the rail bridge downstream would eliminate 95% of the bridge lifts. Ramps on Haden block traffic, and can be moved.   See video.

- The project cost of $3.5 billion is a myth, and this myth has real safety risks.  When this project runs out of money it will cost lives, jobs and enviromental damage due to added delays.   The real cost is $10 billion  $3 to 5 billion for construction, $5-6 billion for interest and operational costs.  The massive debt it creates will mean less money for other bridges over other rivers.   Even with tolls, traffic projections show the bridge will not payback its $10b cost. That type of debt is not good for business unless you’re a bank.  . See economic analysis video

- This is not a bridge project, it’s spending only 30% on the bridge, whereas  41% is replacement of 6 on-off-ramps on 3 miles of land based freeway, ( $1.6 billion )    We might as well call it the “overland ram replacement project” (see chart below)

- It’s risky financing.  We should not buy now, pay later with no inspection finished.   Would you buy a home with no money down and the home inspection “in progress”?  The investment grade risk  analysis on tolls and bond safety won't be completed in time.   It would be unwise to vote yes on the CRC without knowing how it would cover its costs.  links

- The media have been fooled by the $130 million spent to market this product.  OPB radio, the Oregonian and the Associated press fail to check basic facts about the law.       Here’s just one example  The OPB news director refused to correct the errors, email Morgan Holm ( )  Here’s who’s received all that marketing money.    

- Traffic has been decreasing since 2004.  The CRC does little to address congestion in other parts of the region that will be made worse by promoting cars from Washington State.  Links 

Detailed news clips below

Joe Cortright gives a great economic analysis of HB2800

The official state of Oregon website 

There’s an alternative design called the CSA.  

It’s both cheaper and more environmentally friendly, and it’s called “The Common Sense Alternative”.    The CSA design costs $1.8 billion and it would meet the same project goals with less environmental impact.  Watch the video on the alternative.


Oregon is ready to spend:  “(Oregon’s) proposed 2013-15 budget includes $450 million for the CRC. That’s roughly the share Oregon is expected to come up with”

"I met with legislative leadership last week and they agreed to prioritize this project in 2013," Kitzhaber told the assembled throng of business leaders and elected officials.

The total cost over 30 years is $10 billion.

Watch  economic analyst Joe Cortright explain the $10 calculation in this video.$25_billion_bribe.html

Criminals change their name to hide their crimes.  Lawmakers are trying to change the CRC project name to the IBRP - Interstate Bridge Replacement Project (Pronounced: I Burp ) 

Cost Chart

This is not a bridge project, it’s spending only 30% on the bridge, whereas  41% is replacement of 6 on-ramps, ( $1,6 billion )    We should call it the on-ramp replacement project.  

This video breaks down the  3.6b construction costs ( does not include all costs )

In 2013 The Governor celebrates saving 100 million in potential savings, yet he plans a freeway costing $10,000 million. “our Coordinated Care Organizations …. will save $100 million in the general fund in 2013-15"


Fund freeways, and cut education? Yes. "Kitzhaber has already said he’s not in favor of new taxes for education this session, and he’s asking for cuts to public pensions and prisons,"


A bridge too false, the myths of the CRC data

Traffic is decreasing & the existing bridge is safer than others.   “more than two dozen I-5 bridges in Oregon in worse shape than the Interstate Bridge, including the Marquam Bridge ...rated a lot lower for its ability to withstand a big quake...No one seems in a big rush to claim that (Interstate 5) bridge is unsafe or to replace it.”  …. “independent review panel found the massive project will shave exactly 60 seconds off the peak morning commute.  And here’s why: The Interstate Bridge and nearby interchanges are just one bottleneck. The project does nothing to fix the choke point at the Rose Quarter, five miles south, where I-5 narrows to two lanes.”


“Induced demand” explains why  this bridge will make things worse for other freeways and neighborhoods.  Watch this video.

An Investment Grade Analysis is far overdue.

Banks are eager to make $5 billion in bond interest on this project.  Those banks will want an investment grade analysis to verify income.  The on loans  to pay back a Seattle bridge will grow.   Quote “ it’s likely the CRC’s investment-grade analysis will show more diversion and lower toll revenue, just as the one for Seattle’s Highway 520 shows up to half of traffic moving from that span to Interstate 90.”

Maps of lawmakers and the project area:

Map of Senate and House members near Portland.  Each sentate district has 2 house districts.

2.2 miles North into Washington State 

1.2 mile bridge span 

.7 miles South into Oregon State 

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Report the results of your call in public, let others know what lies are being sold to you.

Portland Lawmaker’s phone numbers and reporting tool


Help edit this document, call me,  Joe,  

Activists have permission to use this art from Mr. Singer

In conclusion.....

There’s an alternative design called the CSA.

The total cost over 30 years is $10 billion.

Here’s a simple cost chart

A bridge too false, the myths of the CRC data

An Investment Grade Analysis is far overdue.