More than three dozen business groups have joined OBI in urging Oregon and Washington lawmakers to approve an Interstate 5 bridge design that will meet current and future transportation needs. The design that local and state officials will consider this month contains insufficient vehicle capacity to ease the congestion that even now lasts up to 10 hours on most weekdays, harming commuters, employers and the environment.

The design under consideration, known as the modified locally preferred alternative, features only one auxiliary lane in each direction. Auxiliary lanes smooth the flow of traffic by providing additional room for vehicles entering the highway to merge. The addition of only one auxiliary lane in each direction, however, will improve travel times by only a handful of minutes. Current and future transportation demands would be better served by the addition of two auxiliary lanes in each direction, the letter explains, noting that the bridge carries more than $70 million in freight every day and is integrally connected to the region’s economy.

Go here to read the letter.

Go here to read a May 25 Oregonian op-ed co-signed by OBI President and CEO Angela Wilhelms, Portland Business Alliance President and CEO Andrew Hoan and Oregon Trucking Associations President Jana Jarvis.