Herrera Beutler other lawmakers ask for full study of CRC
U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, and three other House Republicans on Wednesday called for a full study of the economic impacts of Columbia River Crossing, citing “continued concerns” with the $3.5 billion megaproject.In a letter to the U.S. Coast Guard, the lawmakers highlighted navigation and commerce worries for river users upstream of the proposed Interstate 5 Bridge replacement. Squeezing those operations would mean millions of dollars in lost revenue for Columbia River manufacturers, they wrote, plus extra costs for mitigation.“We cannot cavalierly dismiss the impacts to the businesses, current and future, which depend upon the free flow of river commerce to survive,” the letter reads. “Neither can we dismiss the impacts to our local economy, nor the jobs that would cease, should these companies be forced to relocate or close their doors.”In addition to Herrera Beutler, the letter was signed by Eastern Washington Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Doc Hastings, plus Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador.The Coast Guard must approve a bridge permit for the CRC to move forward. Project leaders expected to finalize a permit application for a 116-foot-high fixed span this week. The current I-5 drawbridge allows for as much as 178 feet of clearance when lifted.