Interstate 5 (I-5, as it’s more commonly known) could quite possibly be the most important interstate on the west coast. The freeway links Baja California with British Columbia; seriously, it cuts all the way through the United States.
Considering how the majority of goods are still transported by trucks, you might think that any bridge that’s a part of this interstate would be extremely high-tech, and that the replacement of said bridge would be expedited quickly and efficiently.
Welcome to Portland, where what’s quite possibly one of the most important commercial bridges in the world crosses the waterborne border of two states: Oregon and Washington. Let the problems begin!
Despite I-5 being an interstate (usually at least partially covered by the Federal system), a lot of the expense behind the upkeep and maintenance of our interstate freeway system falls on the states. Usually, this isn’t a problem where the state in which the maintenance happens to reside simply foots the bill.
Ah, you might ask, what happens when the part of the freeway is a bridge? A complex bridge that, in addition to being multiple lanes is also a drawbridge? And it’s located between two states? And those two states are in huge tax problems because one doesn’t have a sales tax and the other doesn’t have an income tax?
Answer: unbelievable bickering, whining and peeing contests of epic proportions unseen anywhere except on televised wrestling.
So, we started wondering: how about we just tear down the I-5 bridge, set up a few catapults in its place, and then launch the governors, the city councils and anyone else involved deep into the heart of the Columbia to resolve their differences?
Got a better idea? Leave it in the comments.