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Originally published Monday, March 4, 2013 at 12:37 PM

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Oregon Senate approves Columbia River bridge

The Oregon Senate has approved $450 million in bonds to help pay for a new Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River connecting Portland and Vancouver.

Associated Press

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SALEM, Ore. —

The Oregon Senate has approved $450 million in bonds to help pay for a new Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River connecting Portland and Vancouver.

The vote Monday was 18 to 11. Gov. John Kitzhaber, a bridge backer, says he'll sign the bill.

The money will be spent only if Washington state comes up with its $450 million share, the federal government agrees to contribute more than $1 billion and the U.S. Coast Guard issues building permits.

The total cost is estimated at $3.4 billion.

The project would include a new bridge for vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists and light-rail trains, along with new interchanges on both sides of the river.

Supporters say the project will boost commerce. Opponents have reservations about the project's funding.

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