Feds give WA, OR more time to repay bridge money

The Federal Highway Administration is giving the states of Washington and Oregon five more years to repay tens of millions of dollars they were given for the now-defunct Columbia River Crossing — a new Interstate 5 bridge between Portland and Vancouver.

The states requested the extension last month.

The Columbian reports the states could be on the hook for as much as $188 million. More than $100 million of that went to Oregon.

The $2.9 billion project shut down in May after five years of work as support shrank in both legislatures.

Transportation officials say a new I-5 bridge eventually will be needed over the Columbia River.