• Manny Pangilinan
Three years ago, the Metro Council signed off on the giant Columbia River Crossing bridge project to Vancouver, but with a long list of caveats that the project would have to satisfy. Now, the reckoning day is nigh! Next week, Metro is slated to vote on whether the bridge meets those goals. It seems likely that the Council will sign off on the $3.6 billion project, so critics are trying to rally the public for the June 9th vote, saying the project fails to resolve the major concerns Metro spelled out in 2008.

The stakes are high: The big bridge is estimated to clock in at $3.6 billion, the largest transportation project in our region's history.

Coalition for a Livable Future has made a list of nine key areas (pdf) where the bridge is failing Metro's standards. For example, the project is not looking into tolling the I-205 bridge along with the new I-5 bridge and also has no final environmental impact statement, as Metro requested when it rubberstamped the bridge.

In addition to the project using public money to bankroll its own private promotion group and spending $1 million a month on planning and PR, a new study from economist Joe Cortright shows that the project could spend $60 million on parking garages (for comparison, that's roughly the cost of Portland's entire bikeway system).

The big meeting is next Thursday at 2pm at Metro HQ.