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What are the outcomes?
CRC addresses critical problems in the project area with a comprehensive set of bridge, highway, transit and other improvements. CRC
all travelers through reduced congestion and fewer collisions, benefit the economy through better freight mobility and construction jobs, and
benefit community livability in both Oregon and Washington.
Greater reliability and travel time savings
CRC project improvements will reduce congestion by approximately 70 percent
compared to a no-build scenario. Fewer hours of daily congestion surrounding the
Interstate Bridge will result in predictable travel times and significant travel
time savings for commuters. For example, drivers heading north on I-5 from I-84
in Portland to 179th Street in Vancouver during the afternoon peak period are
predicted to save 20 minutes compared with the no-build scenario. Highway and
transit improvements will save travelers about 6.8 million hours per year in
reduced auto and truck delays, which equates to more than $435 million in travel
time savings per year in 2030. Congestion relief and improved reliability are a
result of bridge and highway improvements, the extension of light rail and
Fewer collisions in the project area
Collisions are expected to decline by about 70 percent compared to
the no-build scenario. Collisions lead to societal costs including property
damage, lost earnings, medical costs, emergency
services, travel delay, legal fees, and lost quality of life. Project
improvements that improve corridor safety include:
- No bridge lifts to stop traffic unexpectedly
- Added safety shoulders and wider lanes
- Improved connections to and from I-5 at closely-spaced interchanges
- Increased earthquake protection
Economic benefits that extend across the region
The I-5 corridor is the backbone of a network of roads that provide access to
the greater Vancouver and Portland region, which is more susceptible to
long-term economic losses from congestion than other areas because of its ties
to trade. Two-in-five jobs in Washington and one-in-five jobs in Oregon are
supported by trade. The Interstate Bridge is a key piece of freight
infrastructure. Approximately $40 billion worth of freight crossed the
Interstate Bridge in 2005.
According to a economic benefits analysis, economic impacts of the project
are estimated to result in the creation of 4,200 jobs and $231 million in
additional wages in 2030 compared to the “no build” scenario. Trucks currently
carry 67 percent of all freight in the region, and this is expected to grow to
73 percent by 2030, outpacing other freight modes.
CRC creates benefits for both trucks and marine
freight through reduced congestion in the corridor, improved access to ports and
highways, elimination of bridge lifts and aligning the primary river navigation channel with the channel under the adjacent railroad bridge.
CRC highway, bridge and transit construction is estimated to support or
sustain an average of 1,900 construction related jobs each year of construction.
Spending on construction of the Columbia River Crossing project directly affects
demand for construction materials and jobs.
Enhanced livability in communities connected to the project
CRC will promote quality of life in surrounding neighborhoods by reducing
congestion and enhancing community mobility. A combination of added light rail, bicycle and pedestrian
pathways, and local road improvements will better connect neighborhoods.
Improved highway conditions will reduce cut through traffic on local streets.
CRC project design also includes environmental benefits, such as improved water quality with treatment of 30 million gallons of polluted stormwater each year,
improved air quality and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.