A modern connection for a growing community

Interstate 5 provides a critical connection between Oregon and Washington that supports local jobs and families, and is a vital trade route for regional, national and international economies. Beyond the concrete and steel of the existing bridge is a thriving background of scenic views, natural systems and a rich history of our region’s national heritage.

We understand the vital link the bridge plays in connecting the region and the importance of the natural environment and health of our community. We are committed to finding a solution that will improve our transportation system, now and in the future.

IBR bridge user, Randali
Collage of Advisory Group members and participants in the IBR program
Floating homes on Hayden Island
Elvia, bridge user, smiling in front of colored building
Hands of various ethnicities together in a circle
3d rendering of a stacked bridge spanning the Columbia River

River Crossing Visualizations 

Visualizations showing potential bridge types have been released. The visuals are not a final design and don’t reflect property impacts.
Click here for more information

Centering Equity

The Interstate Bridge Replacement (IBR) program is committed to centering equity in our processes and our outcomes. We are engaging  communities and elevating the voices of equity priority communities throughout our processes and ensuring these communities receive the program’s economic and transportation benefits. We also commit to not furthering harm to these communities.

Our Equity Commitment   Equity Advisory Group

Myth vs. Fact

Myth: Why can’t you retrofit or replace other regional bridges using the money from the IBR program? Wouldn’t that be a more prudent use of taxpayer dollars?

There is not one giant pot of money for the IBR program that can be used for other purposes like retrofitting bridges around the NW Oregon and SW Washington region. Funding for construction will come from a variety of sources, including state and federal transportation funding and tolling. All of these funding sources, whether they are dedicated by the state legislatures or competitive grants, must be approved specifically for the IBR program and must be used to address the identified transportation problems.

Even if it were possible to divert funding allocated to the IBR program, the need for a local and regional transportation system lifeline able to withstand a significant earthquake would remain. By replacing the Interstate Bridge with a new seismically resilient, multimodal solution, the IBR program would contribute to seismically updating the regional corridor along with improving transit options and reducing safety and congestion issues on Interstate 5.

Myth: The IBR program will do nothing to improve freight mobility.

The recommended Modified LPA aims to improve freight mobility through interchange design improvements, integration of ramp-to-ramp connections (auxiliary lanes), extension of light rail across the river, and improved bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Interchange improvements and auxiliary lanes can help freight move through the corridor safely and more efficiently compared to current conditions. Extending light rail across the river and improving active transportation options will promote mode shift for travelers currently using single-occupancy vehicles. With fewer cars on the road, additional space to merge safely, and thoughtful design considerations, freight can experience improved travel times and reliability. The proposed improvements will be thoroughly analyzed through the upcoming environmental review process to ensure they meet freight mobility objectives.

Myth: Including light rail requires a lower bridge height, thus restricting the navigation clearance for vessels that use the river to transport goods.

A combination of factors contributes to limitations of the bridge height, including protected air space; providing access/connections to SR-14, downtown Vancouver and Hayden Island; as well as providing appropriate grades for all transportation modes, including freight and active transportation. The standard grade of decline for freight to descend safely is more restrictive than the standard grade for light rail. It is important to identify a highway grade that is safe for all modes. Ultimately, the U.S. Coast Guard determines bridge height and is expected to issue a permit to the IBR program prior to construction. The program is working closely with the agency and will engage with any potentially affected river users to avoid, minimize, or mitigate impacts.

Myth: The new bridge will be dangerously steep and unsafe for users.

While the previous planning effort identified a grade of just under 4% for a 116-foot clearance bridge design, the IBR program has not reached that level of design and final road grades have not been confirmed. It is not unusual to have highway grades at 4% or steeper. In both Oregon and Washington there are stretches of interstate highway that feature grades steeper than 5%.

As designs progress, the program will ensure that any design accounts for the safety of all modes of travel and will meet or exceed all local, federal, and state safety and design standards.

Happening Now

Headline News

  • May Newsletter 2023

    The May Newsletter features Jim Ruddell, IBR Program Manager, and announces new in-person engagement events this spring. Hope to see you there!

    POSTED May 05 2023 READ MORE

All News


  • Neighborhood Forums

    Joins us for a Neighborhood Forum May 31 or June 6.

    Neighborhood Forums give local community members an opportunity to speak directly with IBR staff and to learn about the environmental review process, financial plan, and future opportunities for engagement.

    Meetings & Events