It’s very clear that CRC has sucked up funding from every available source. 2011-10-26_CRC_Monthly_Report_Sept_2011_FNL-1 Appendix H-1 (3)
Couch examined thousands of pages of electronic documents supplied by the CRC via a Freedom of Information request. She found that the CRC was unable to adequately account for how it spent $108 million in public funds between July 2005 and February 2011. Oddities included invoices totaling $15 million lacking vendor names and invoices worth $38 million that lacked codes to identify services rendered.
The Columbia River Crossing Light Rail project carries a $10 billion price tag.
To date, how the project will be funded has not been ascertained and is referred to as a “debt bomb” by Chris Girard in his preface to the Cortright Report. Despite the heavy price tag, the CRC project falls short of fixing other known transportation issues, such as the bottlenecks at the Rose Quarter and the Terwilliger Curves on the Oregon side of the river, and congestion restrained by limiting the river crossings to only two.
Comparing three other bridge projects in the United States to the CRC Light Rail project demonstrates what has been done and what could be done, all at far lower taxpayer expense.
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Peterson concluded that there is a simpler way to build a new I-5 bridge both with a lower cost and a more elegant design. He suggests a two-level straight aligned bridge with dedicated interstate traffic on the upper level and more local shore-to-shore traffic on the lower level – something Peterson calls a collector/distributor model.
You can ask questions. You can’t always get answers.
Tiffany Couch, a forensic accountant and founder of the Acuity Group, was hired by David Madore to help decipher the deluge of documents provided under the Freedom of Information act in regards to the Columbia River Crossing Light Rail project. She shared her findings at Saturday’s Bridging the Gaps event.
On April 25, Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire and Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber announced their plan to break ground on the Columbia River Crossing Light Rail project in 2013.
At 14:00 Kitzhaber says, “I appreciate very much the concerns about financing expressed by my longtime friend Joe Cortright and others who shared his view, and I’ve taken that input seriously. Governor Gregoire and I are absolutely committed to an inclusive, transparent, accountable process as we begin this new phase of project finance. Towards that end, we have directed …”
David Madore interviews Chris Girard, CEO of Plaid Pantry, who funded a financial analysis of the CRC project that is commonly called The Cortright Report.
Do you have information or video to share on light rail, the Columbia River Crossing Light Rail project, or other government issues? Respond anonymously by calling 260-816-1426. Or, to record your comments for possible use on this or the COUV.COM website, call 260-816-1429.