Weekly Update: Bridges and Post Offices
Federal Infrastructure Funding for Bridges
We’re finally moving forward on two crucial infrastructure projects.
On Labor Day, Senator Jeff Merkley, along with local labor leaders called for action to replace the Sellwood Bridge. The Sellwood Bridge is a vital artery for the metropolitan area: it’s the busiest two-lane bridge in the state and the only river crossing for a 12-mile stretch of the Willamette River. For many commuters living in Clackamas County, this bridge is the path to work. The bridge cannot accommodate trucks and buses which forces transit and shipping traffic to detour to less efficient routes.
This week, the Federal Government finally came through with much needed funds to replace the bridge. The US Department of Transportation green-lighted a grant to fund the replacement, and work is slated to begin next summer. Replacing the bridge will provide good jobs for the area, expedite trucking and allow for quicker commuting between Clackamas and Multnomah counties.
Meanwhile, plans to replace the Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River took a significant step forward last week with two federal agencies signing off on the project. If you commute frequently between northwest Oregon and southwest Washington, you already know how important this project is. And it’s not just commuters who will benefit from a new path across the Columbia: truck drivers hauling freight up and down the West Coast are constantly seeing delays on this section of I-5, slowing commerce both above, and beneath the bridge for the boats which cannot pass without raising the drawbridge.
The new Columbia River Crossing is a much needed improvement to our region, and the replacement process – set to begin in 2013– will bring plenty of jobs to an area which is still struggling to catch-up from the recession.
In Other News...
Protect Your Postal Service
Yesterday, the Postal Service announced a delay in the closure and consolidation of thousands of post offices around the nation. In Oregon, we face a shutdown of many rural offices that are crucial to the small towns which they serve. This delay is not a victory, but rather a reprieve which Oregon’s union movement can use to keep up the pressure on Congress to take action and provide a reasonable solution to the post office crisis. Head to http://www.saveamericaspostalservice.org/ to learn about how you can join the fight.
I am the 99%
Do you have your “I am the 99%” lawn sign, bumper sticker or window placard? Email Russell@oraflcio.org to find out where you can pick yours up.
Have you gone to http://www.facesofthe99.org yet? Print out our window placard and then post your photo on the Faces of the 99% Facebook page.