Posts tagged ‘ODOT’

October 11, 2013

Carolyn Crain, The Ugly Side of the CRC

by lewwaters

Clark County, Vancouver, Washington citizen Carolyn Crain, speaking about the ugly underside of the Columbia River Crossing light rail project from Portland, Oregon being forced upon Washington State citizens against their will.

October 11, 2013

Tiffany Couch Testimony before Trans Committee Hearing

by lewwaters

Forensic Auditor Tiffany Couch speaks before the Washington State Senate Transportation Committee “Listening” Hearing, October 7, 2013 held in Vancouver, Washington.

March 1, 2013

How Many Mistakes Will It Take to Bankrupt the Middle Class?

by lewwaters

MIstake 1None of us get through life without making mistakes, messing up on something that we end up going back and redoing or fixing. Mistake happen to all of us and let’s face it that is why pencils all have erasers on them, so we can erase a mistake and rewrite it.

But we seem to learn from our mistakes and do our best not to repeat them, especially ones that end up costing us more money than we were prepared to spend.

We don’t seem to see that “learn from our mistakes” attitude in many public/private ventures like the Columbia River Crossing, though. Even though it is crammed with mistakes, the CRC attitude is more of ignore them and forge ahead, regardless of what it will end up costing taxpayers.

To date the CRC has cost over $160 Million and been spread out over a decade and still doesn’t have a design adequate to gain a Coast Guard permit to build the bridge for light rail due to insufficient clearance for river traffic. Somehow, planners ignored that at least 3 current businesses upriver require much more clearance to fit their products under the current bridge between Clark County Washington and Portland, Oregon, even though they were aware of it years go.

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January 31, 2013

Elected Officials Raise More Questions On CRC

by lewwaters

CRCFrom 3rd Congressional District Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, to 17th Legislative District Senator Don Benton and to 14th Legislative District Senator Curtis King, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, critical questions are beginning to be asked and recommendations made to clear up the many discrepancies surrounding the Columbia River Crossing project.

Senator Benton has long been a critic, having seen early on in the project that it could not live up to promises or expectations and would be a massive waste of tax dollars as planned. His calls and cries for reining the project and the steady flow of tax dollars in, over $160 Million to date, have been largely ignored and cast aside as what now appears to be the biggest swindle ever to hit Southwest Washington forged ahead amidst growing public opposition.

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January 8, 2013

HCT Act; is C-Tran in Compliance?

by lewwaters

 

C-TranSubmitted by Robert Dean

Actions and public statements from C-Tran indicate that they are aware of RCW 81.104 but either did not take it seriously or forgot many of its provisions. Similarly, CRC officials acknowledged the Act but did not plan the Project accordingly.

CRC Co-Director, Don Wagner, observed in 2010 that each one year delay in construction costs the public $100 million with 3% inflation. When he made that observation  he was expecting the C-Tran public vote on funding operations to take place that fall. If he had been familiar with the Act he would not have had that expectation.

C-Tran has recently scurried to comply with the Act:

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October 17, 2012

Columbian Ignores Appearance of Corruption Surrounding CRC

by lewwaters

Thanks to the work of forensic accountant Tiffany Couch and County Commissioner candidate David Madore, the veil wrapped around the Columbia River Crossing Project is gradually being peeled back, not that you will ever read of word of it in the local newspaper of record, the Columbian.

While the Oregonian, the Reflector and the Willamette Week have all published articles and reports critical of the CRC, the Columbian continues to provide cover, ignoring or minimizing recent reports and evidence uncovered and released by Ms. Couch, writing them off as “more of the same.”

They are not.

A previous report covered the potential violation of Washington State Open Meetings Laws, but a subsequent report released on October 12, 2012 delves even deeper into the darkness we have seen associated with the CRC.

Ms. Couch raises several questions that remain unanswered and, not even asked by the Columbian who proudly boasts on their front page, “Serving Clark County, Washington.”

Just who in Clark County is served is debatable.

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February 18, 2012

CRC and C-TRAN Can’t See the ‘Elephant in the Room’

by lewwaters

Undaunted by questions and growing opposition from taxpayers, the Columbia River Crossing and C-Tran continue to forge ahead with the multi-billion dollar project, ignoring or casting aside just about every single concern of taxpayers, business owners, elected officials, engineers, just about any and every person looking at this albatross and our economy and saying, ‘wait a minute.’

As was previously shown, an independent analysis of CRC finances raising several pertinent questions was instantly dismissed and the forensic accountant hired to wade through a “document dump” received through a FOIA request disparaged and demeaned.

As evidenced by the following Columbian video, Washington State Department of Transportation Director Paula Hammond makes no bones in her criticism of the analysis,

You can read more on Ms. Hammonds’ defending CRC over on the Columbian at Transportation agency defends work on CRC with additional video and coverage at Official: 2013 CRC start date not likely.

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February 10, 2012

Columbia River Crossing, The Bridge To Bankruptcy

by lewwaters

Bridges almost always end up with nick names as taxpayers cast aside the official designated name and express their views of them through locally attached names. We saw that with the Tacoma Narrows Bridge nicknamed “Galloping Gertie” due to peculiar gyrations and pitching those crossing experienced before it collapsed in a wind storm just 4 months after it opened in November 1940.

Sometimes the name is complimentary, such as “The Bridge of the Gods” up by Cascade Locks and sometimes the name expresses disgust at a high cost that isn’t justifiable, such as Alaska’s Gravina Island Bridge nicknamed “A Bridge To Nowhere” since it was projected to cost $398 million to connect Ketchikan with Gravina Island, a small community of about 50 people and a small single runway airport, accessed by ferry in about 7 minutes.

Locally, we have the Columbia River Crossing seeking to replace the aging but serviceable spans of the I-5 Bridge across the Columbia River connecting Washington and Oregon that with the forced inclusion of extending Portland’s financially troubled Max Line light rail a short distance into Vancouver is projected to cost about $4 Billion, before figuring in interest on bonds and the to be expected cost overruns. Once those are added, it is estimated to cost upwards of $10 Billion or more.

Saying the project is contentious is an understatement as it has been brought up in every political campaign for a number of years now. Current Vancouver mayor, Tim Leavitt campaigned heavily on not tolling residents for the bridge project, only to totally reverse his stand almost as soon as he was announced the winner. Our nickname for him now is “Tim ‘the liar’ Leave-it,” indicating how Vancouver citizens are disgusted with him and want him to leave office.

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