Media Room

REMARKS AS PREPARED

Governor Kate Brown
I-5 Bridge Joint MOI signing
November 18, 2019

Thank you Governor Inslee for that warm introduction and for your excitement about this project! And thank you all for being here.

Governor Inslee and I come together today from both sides of the river with a common goal: to build a resilient bridge that will serve both Washington and Oregon for many years to come. 

Both of our states are currently experiencing unprecedented population, cultural, and economic growth. 

There are many interlocking pieces that have spurred and fostered this growth — for which I’m sure Governor Inslee agrees — we are both exhilarated and grateful. 

And coming out of a recession that hit both Oregon and Washington hard, we have learned that we must focus on preparation. As we look ahead to an eventual downturn, we must invest in the bedrock of our states’ economies: transportation infrastructure that keeps people and products moving.

When working properly, infrastructure goes unnoticed, but without it, we’re literally in for a bumpy ride.

The Pacific Northwest is built on roads, bridges, and public transit. And our states are more interconnected than ever through broadband, watersheds, transportation, economic development, human services, natural resources, and more.

We’re tied so closely that folks from other parts of the country often mistake us for one big state! 

Now whether that’s a compliment to our collaborations or a slam on our national geography curriculum, I’ll let you decide.

But either way, we’re in this together, and Oregon could not have picked a better partner.

The joint effort to plan and execute a better I-5 bridge is an important step forward as we invest in the growth of our region.

The first step will be to establish an office to examine the work that’s been done in previous efforts and what needs to be done to replace the Interstate Bridge. 

This office will investigate what progress we can build from, what federal dollars are available, and report back to both state legislatures with a plan to move forward.

It’s high time that we address the congestion between our two states and invest in a bridge that will stand the test of time. 

For the last several years, we have sought to provide ALL Oregonians with the opportunity to believe in the idea of a brighter tomorrow. And I am sure Governor Inslee is doing the same for Washingtonians.

That brighter tomorrow includes a new I-5 bridge crossing. One that is seismically safe, provides the opportunity for high-capacity transit, and with enough space to accommodate our ever-growing populations. 

Besides, what promotes inter-state collaboration better than an interstate?

Thank you. And now it’s my great pleasure to open it up to our transportation experts, Secretary Millar and Director Strickler.