The focus of our regional transportation articles will be on interstate traffic throughput. We will analyze how private and commercial vehicles and public transportation moves through the region on the north/south interstate roads and bridges—or other roads and bridges that, once built or improved, provide traffic relief to I-5 and I-205.
We will examine public works projects where tens of millions of dollars – in the case of the failed CRC Bridge project, billions of dollars – are typically budgeted. Such high-dollar projects attract special interest corruption. Also attracted are transportation ideologues who aren’t interested in facts but instead just focus on their ideology, which is mostly about aggressive public transportation and taxes and policies that penalize automobile drivers.
One problem with complex public works projects is it’s difficult to get accurate information about their costs, impact, and benefits. The advocates of certain approaches to a particular proposed project are quite willing to be fast and loose with project information and will hire consulting firms sympathetic to the advocate’s approach. There are others that angle for project work, have property the project needs, or other profit interest. They will usually promote the project regardless of the project’s actual merit or other problems. All this manipulation and corruption is present in most public works projects and rampant in nearly all large projects.
In this region our big challenge is improving throughput in the North/South interstate freeways, which entails various potential Columbia River bridge improvements and new bridges. clarkcounty.info will give citizens objective and digestible information on the contribution of the various options to improve throughput on the north/south freeways. A sample of this information is shown in the SW Washington Regional Interstate Transportation Throughput Evaluation Matrix. This will be filled in over the next few months with information by our team of transportation and engineering professionals.