Currently estimated to cost between $2.6 and $3.6 billion, the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) will cross the most powerful river in the western United States, reshaping a five mile transportation corridor along Interstate 5 that unites two cities and states, and creating a new bridge that will include light rail, pedestrian and bicycle routes. This urban infrastructure project of national relevance will influence the growth of the region for decades and demands a clear vision of its far-reaching economic, ecological, cultural and social impacts.
The Architecture Foundation of Oregon (AFO) and the independent PDXplore design collective presented the forum—Crossing the Columbia: What Does it Mean?—as an outgrowth of their shared purpose to advance awareness of Design and its role in the Urban Planning process. This volunteer effort was not meant to be a comprehensive examination or critique of the CRC project. The forum was intended to create a context for citizens that promotes greater understanding of the CRC's magnitude and encourages discussion about how the goals of the CRC are not mutually exclusive from Design Excellence.