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Originally published Monday, February 25, 2013 at 6:43 AM

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Oregon House considering Columbia bridge bonds

The Oregon House is considering a bill Monday that would authorize $450 million in bonds to help build a new Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River between Portland and Vancouver, Wash.

The Associated Press

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SALEM, Ore. —

The Oregon House is considering a bill Monday that would authorize $450 million in bonds to help build a new Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River between Portland and Vancouver, Wash.

The Oregonian reports ( http://bit.ly/YSK0fu) the Senate will consider the measure as soon as March 4.

Washington lawmakers also are considering their $450 million share of the $3.4 billion Columbia River Crossing that is scheduled to break ground next year.

The bridge was redesigned in December to raise the height from 95 to 116 feet to allow taller ships and barges to pass underneath. The existing span has a drawbridge with a 178-foot clearance.

Supporters say the new bridge is needed to replace two spans dating back to 1917 and 1958. Critics question financing, tolling and light rail plans.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com

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