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Originally published Friday, February 21, 2014 at 6:09 AM

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Key Oregon senator won't vote for Columbia bridge

A state senator seen as a key swing vote on the proposed Columbia River bridge replacement says he will be voting against it.


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This bridge project is a $4Billion farce. It relieves traffic congestion by all of 30... MORE
The state senator from Hillsboro realized he would be committing political suicide by... MORE
Washington ought to contribute to a replacement bridge. The current bridge is becoming... MORE

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SALEM, Ore. —

A state senator seen as a key swing vote on the proposed Columbia River bridge replacement says he will be voting against it.

Republican Sen. Bruce Starr of Hillsboro says in a statement released Thursday that Oregon and Washington legislatures must work together on the project. Starr's decision is a major blow to the effort by Gov. John Kitzhaber, House Speaker Tina Kotek and the business and labor groups that are eager to build the bridge despite Washington state's refusal to contribute money.

Plans call for widening several miles of Interstate 5, replacing the bridge over the Columbia and extending Portland's light-rail into Vancouver, Wash.

Proponents say the existing bridge causes bottlenecks and will collapse in a major earthquake. Critics say an Oregon-only approach would put too much risk on state taxpayers.



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