Sen. Annette Cleveland (D-Vancouver) released this statement today following Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek’s announcement of a $5 million allocation from Oregon toward the re-opening of a project office for a new I-5 bridge and the appointment of Oregon lawmakers to the I-5 Bridge Replacement Bi-State Legislative Action Committee.

“Whether you’re a Washington resident or an Oregon resident, whether you live locally to the bridge or pass through to go farther north or south, this is great news. Everyone who uses this bridge needs relief, and anyone who lives or works in the immediate region will benefit. We need a new I-5 bridge that improves safety, reliability and our ability to cross the Columbia River. The current situation impedes not only traffic, but also hampers this region from fully growing our economy and job base that is so needed.  

“Oregon’s cash investment, particularly after having funded a major transportation revenue package in 2018, signals a solid commitment to continued work together to build the new I-5 bridge both our states need so desperately. And the formal appointment of Oregon lawmakers to the bi-state legislative committee will enable us to begin in earnest the collaborative process a successful project will require.

“Everyone knows how important a new bridge is to our communities and to our region. The replacement of the I-5 Bridge has been my biggest single priority since I first took office seven years ago, and I look forward to sitting down with our newly appointed Oregon counterparts and moving forward on a bridge that meets our 21st Century needs.”