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Press Release: March 3, 2011

Kitzhaber, Gregoire optimistic about federal support for Columbia River Crossing project

USDOT Secretary praises CRC at national meeting of transportation executives

Salem - Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire said today they are pleased with the support for the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project expressed yesterday by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

LaHood praised the CRC as a great project when speaking yesterday at a meeting of 50 state transportation leaders in Washington, D.C.

Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond, who was at yesterday’s meeting, said, “It was heartening to hear the secretary call the project a national model of replacing an aging bridge, adding light rail with dedicated bike and pedestrian paths, in an area where freight movement is critical.”

Kitzhaber and Gregoire met earlier in the week with LaHood, and were joined by the heads of the Federal Highway and Federal Transit administrations. It was the first time the two governors and the three top federal transportation officials have met together to discuss the CRC.

“The project is getting the kind of attention we need at the federal level to make it a reality,” Kitzhaber said today.

LaHood’s support follows recognition last month by President Obama and the Federal Transit Administration. CRC was included in the President’s budget after receiving a “medium-high” rating in the Federal Transit Administration’s Annual New Starts report. This is a strong rating and positions the CRC well to compete for New Starts funding.
CRC has applied for $850 million from the federal New Starts program and is one of a few projects eligible to compete for $400 million that has been proposed for capital projects that are close to starting final design.

Contacts:
Christine Miles, Governor Kitzhaber Press Secretary, 503-559-8795
Cory Curtis, Governor Gregoire Communications Director, 360-902-0386

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