OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – Washington’s legislature took a first step toward funding a new Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday passed a funding bill that includes $450 million for the project, on top of $17.5 million Washington Gov. Jay Inslee proposed.
Sen. Annette Cleveland, a Vancouver Democrat, says it’s a concrete step toward getting the bridge built while they work with Oregon on the design.
Washington and Oregon would have to repay a $140 million grant to the federal government if the bridge never materializes.
Oregon is also expected to help fund the project. The previous iteration that failed relied on both states to pony up $450 million.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has been supportive of the new push to restart bridge negotiations.