Republicans hit Columbia bridge plan

PORTLAND, Ore. — Ten Southwest Washington Republicans say that the defeat in Clark County of a ballot measure to increase the sales tax is a sign the proposed $3.5 billion interstate bridge across the Columbia River must be redesigned.

The current and newly elected officials who issued a statement included U.S. Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler.

The Oregonian reported sponsors of the Columbia River Crossing contend the vote was falsely portrayed as a referendum on the project, and the Clark County transportation agency already allocated money for the light-rail operation planned on the bridge.

The project is designed to replace the Interstate 5 bridge and extend light-rail service from Portland to Clark County.

The statement came as the Oregon and Washington legislatures prepare to consider their $450 million shares of the bridge’s finances.