Where everyone ends in mincemeat

Like a revival of a failed musical, the transportation bureaucrats in Oregon are wheeling out Interstate Bridge Replacement 2.0. Last week we got to see some crude design images, and bask in the glow of pots and pots of federal money that are being ballyhooed as making the new span possible.

Portland's weird Metro government has thrown down 36 million of your hard-earned tax dollars for some more "planning." That's on top of the $300 million or so that was burned on "planning" between 2005 and 2013, with nothing to show for it.

If I understand it correctly, the main thing that killed version 1.0 was Oregon's demand to put a light rail line across the bridge to the 'Couve, where a majority of people don't want it. The Washingtonians wouldn't pay for that. Then there was the problem of tolls, which would be necessary to pay for the project but would likely push traffic onto the I-205 bridge, whch would remain untolled.

Of course, neither of those issues has been resolved, but hey! We've got pretty pictures of how it might look. So let's! Get! "Planning"! Again! I missed the charrettes and focus groups. So glad to see they're back, if only on Zoom.

The new designs show dedicated space for "rapid transit" on the bridge, but they dare not say "light rail." It's being left vague at this point, but you can bet it ain't going to be buses. Whch leaves, um, I don't know... sedan chairs are out... cars are evil... so it's trains, I guess. The almighty choo choo. Will it kill the deal again? We shall see.

I hope the geniuses behind this thing make sure that ships can get under it and planes can get over it. I seem to recall them having problems with those minor details last time around.

Anyway, it will be a few years before Governor Kotek can cut the ribbon. In the meantime, relax, enjoy the show, and dont forget your tax deadlines.