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February 26, 2013

Oregon House OKs $450M for I-5 bridge on Columbia

  • Oregon will be able to sell bonds only if Washington state comes up with $450 million, the feds put up more than $1 billion and the Coast Guard issues a permit.
    Associated Press

    SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon House on Monday approved $450 million in bonds to help pay for new Interstate 5 and light-rail bridges connecting Portland and Vancouver across the Columbia River.

    Lawmakers approved the funding despite complaints that it lacks a definitive revenue source to repay the bonds at a cost of about $28 million a year for three decades. Proponents say they'll use a federal highway fund windfall to cover the cost in the first three years and may seek a dedicated revenue source — like a hike in gas taxes or vehicle fees — as part of a large transportation package in 2015.

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