Cascadia High Speed Rail First Phase Financing Opportunity
Portland Rose Quarter to Lakeshore Vancouver WA Commuter Express
Like all new transportation corridors you begin to build where there is the greatest need, has least physical restraints and there is a greater variety of public and private funding for development.
At the heart of the 460 mile Cascadia High Speed Rail Corridor are the two major cities Portland and Seattle with a combined corridor population of 6 million people. Both cities have good local transit and bike options that should be expanded upon when inter-city high speed rail and commuter express is added as a new system. Portland makes the most sense to begin the first phase of CHSR corridor development for three important reasons:
1. The Portland Rose Quarter exists today as a transportation hub for MAX light rail, buses, Portland Streetcar and bikes. It has an abundant amount of land that is underutilized and has great potential for the Cascadia High Speed Rail and Commuter Express Station, Portland Rose Quarter Transportation Hub and mixed use high density development.
2. There still remains a strong need for a new bridge across the Columbia River now that the CRC plan to replace the dual I-5 Bridge is officially dead. Our plan is to recommend seismically upgrading the existing I-5 Bridges for another 75 to 100 years of life and build a new multi-modal bridge one mile west of I-5. The bridge will support three corridors for CHSR/Commuter Express, Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight rail and motor vehicles. The estimated cost to build (excluding land cost) the 11 mile corridor from the Portland Rose Quarter to Lakeshore Vancouver WA is $2.1 billion.
3. Exploring alternatives for funding a project that includes a new CHSR Station, Commuter Express Station, 11 miles of double track, tunnel, bridge and two interchanges for motor vehicles can be structured similar to the former CRC funding plan, but without tolls. Our financing plan includes private investment from freight rail multi-modal bridge users. Following:
State of Oregon $400 million
State of Washington $400 million
Federal New Starts Program $800 million
Burlington Northern Santa Fe RR $150 million
Union Pacific RR $150 million
TIGER Grant or RIFF Loan $100 million
Total $2.1 billion
Note: This new high speed rail corridor and traffic plan will relieve congestion on I-5 in two ways. It will provide a new corridor for motor vehicles with direct access to North Portland, West Vancouver and both the Portland and Vancouver ports. Secondly it will provide a new corridor for commuters on express rail traveling 11 minutes between Lakeshore in Vancouver to the Rose Quarter.