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“Avoid whenever possible”
Review of Interstate Bridge

Interstate Bridge
Ranked #20 of 57 things to do in Vancouver
Attraction details
Reviewed 12 April 2014

The bridge is old, outdated and of course Oregon and Washington can not come to a decision on how to fund the construction of a new. The feds offered to cover half the cost if Oregon and Washington would split the other half. Oregon jumped on the oppurtunity as Portland relies heavally on the commuters from Vancouver to support the growing economy. Without a new bridge Vancouver might actually begin to recover from the great recession. The city of Vancouver has much to lose by improved bridge traffic. The state of Washington could lose hundreds of millions in lost sales tax revenue if the problem is fixed. The subject never made it to a vote and of course probably won't until Washington can come up with a permanent solution the the tax evasion problem it faces in major border towns like Vancouver and Spokane.

2  Thank conwaynasa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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82 - 86 of 105 reviews

Reviewed 9 March 2014

Bridge built a long, long time ago. One breakdown on the bridge means lights out for commuters as the backup stretches for miles. This is a drawbridge - high lift - which gives small sailboats with big masts priority over motor traffic.Large "hump" in middle of bridge slows traffic which can't see what is happening on the other side.

One of best days of my working life was when I no longer had to commute to work over this bridge.

1  Thank Jim31944
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2013

The bridge is only two lanes, each way, one wreck and both the north and south lanes are bound up like a mummy. I would go out of my way to use the 205 bridge rather than ever use the interstate bridge

Thank frannieangel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2013

The primary function of a bridge is to 'bridge' something, whether it is a river, a gorge, a railway line ... whatever. The Interstate Bridge has been doing this successfully for my entire lifetime. Occasionally, in the ancient days, there were holdups because of trains, but no longer. Most tourists zoom on down the bypass, and take the new bridge upriver, never realizing what they have missed by interacting with a true classic iron bridge.

Thank Kalamariverrat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2013

Long in need of replacement, the old bridge still enables a lion's share of travel and commerce, affecting local, national, and international interests. As a traveler's place of interest, it's not much; it is intended as a means across a large river and as a connection between major hubs, not as a thing of art.

Presently and perhaps finally, it is in the throes of controversy as different interests debate the cost and design of a new bridge. The current one can no longer expedite traffic efficiently during peak travel times, a serious point to consider if you approach the area during rush hours. And it is a lift-span bridge, requiring traffic to stop for tall vessels, so there are no guarantees of a quick crossing even at less busy times. No such restriction applies to the high I-205 bypass bridge upriver.

The new bridge had been designed and cost-factored, and appeared within the last couple of years to be on the verge of being built. At the last minute it was determined that the new liftless span was going to be too low slung to accomodate the tallest vessels that needed to transit underneath it, by a matter of inches. Of course this all depended on seasonal water flows and daily tides, but cutting out a certain sect of large commercial or other vessels from access to upper Columbia River ports was a no-go for many with agendas dependent on them.

So the go ahead to build was essentially scrapped. Support waned when already astronomical cost estimates soared upon penciling out raising the existing design the small amount necessary to accomodate most if not all vessels. To stay within engineering guidelines, the small rise in physical stature would apparently require more land acquisitions at either end of the span, and far more concrete and steel than previously estimated. That cost was the last straw for many, especially on the Washington side.

The fuss it created has left the entire project in limbo once more, with many going back to the drawing board and rehashing previously tabled ideas of how to fix the apparently unfixable, including the notion of a third bridge east of I-205 between Gresham, Oregon and east Vancouver To my notion, as a native of the area, this will accomplish little compared to dealing with the prime problem directly, the Interstate Bridge itself. That bridge serves the core travel area, for commuting workers, intercity commerce, and the major federal blood vessel on the west coast; trying to fix it in times of economic crisis has proven futile, but it's gotta be done and before too long.

Just this week, 9/24/2013, studies have been released that project managers have been cloaking up to this point, that anticipate gridlock on the I-205 (Glen Jackson) bypass Bridge, a few miles east, if the new bridge's exhorbitant cost is funded by installing toll booths. Beyond being a rarity on a west coast federal bridge, the toll idea would not only slow traffic across the new bridge, but would flood the Glen Jackson with thousands of vehicles trying to avoid the toll, causing a now relatively free-flowing route to choke, and accomplishing didly with reference to the new bridge's intent.

Whichever way the controversy settles, and eventually a new bridge will have to become reality regardless, in the meantime the Interstate Bridge is your shortest north-south route via the I-5 corridor. Hit it at rush hour and it won't be your fastest route. That said, the alternative I-205 gridlocks nearly as bad every weekday late afternoon, so pick your timing wisely.

Thank Hafcanadian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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