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November 06, 2014


Wasn't there a story in the S-J the other day about how Salem literally can't afford to repair the existing sidewalks in city residential neighborhoods?

I realize different projects come from different pots of money but in light of this simple but somehow unsolvable problem, the 3rd bridge crush seems even more insane.

After all, residential neighborhoods have houses with people living there who pay taxes. Large infrastructure projects eat money, with no real return except to speed motorists out of Salem even faster.

The fact that the 3rd bridge project evidently makes profound sense to the existing leadership, despite the obvious infrastructure failures we can all see, tells you everything, doesn't it?

Thanks for this post Brian. The latest official cost estimate from the Salem River Crossing Oversight Team is $450 million in 2015 dollars. So to round that up to a half billion is probably about right. Also, State Bridge Engineer Bruce Johnson stated at a meeting in August that the estimated cost of a seismic retrofit to the Marion St. Bridge would be $22 million and $14-15 million for the Center Street Bridge. Making other needed improvements to these bridges would cost more, but you are right that this should be the focus. We can probably solve all our present and future congestion problems with improvements to the bridges we have, and we can retrofit them to ensure that they are able to serve us for many decades to come.

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