VANCOUVER, Wash.—People who depend on Interstate 5 to get to work, see family or deliver goods between Portland and Vancouver are invited to participate in two community meetings planned for April 12 and 13 to evaluate and comment on ideas aimed at reducing travel times during peak hours.
The Portland meeting is scheduled for 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 13, in the Jantzen Beach Red Lion Inn, 909 N. Hayden Island Drive. The Vancouver event takes place from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, in Hudson's Bay High School, 1206 E. Reserve St.
At each event, members of the Columbia River Crossing project team will share information on 23 ideas to improve how people cross the river and 14 ideas to improve public transit. In addition, recommendations to drop some ideas from further consideration will be presented.
Ideas under consideration range from replacing the existing bridge with a tunnel under the river to adding more travel lanes. Other ideas include extending light rail across the state line and giving buses their own highway lanes.
If no action is taken, the daily traffic jam is predicted to grow to 13 hours a day by 2020 from its current four to six hours on the Interstate Bridge and the five-mile stretch of highway between SR 500 in Vancouver and Columbia Boulevard in Portland.
Attendees also can hear stories about the Columbia River from local storyteller Ed Edmo and kids may build their own bridges at an activity table just for them. Storytelling takes place at 4:45 p.m. and 6 p.m. Project staff members will present an overview of the ideas being considered at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.