2 Wash. transportation projects expedited by Obama

Aug 20, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Two transportation projects in Washington state are among four projects that President Barack Obama says will be expedited under his "We Can't Wait" initiative.

The Obama administration announced Monday that one of the projects on the list is the Columbia River Crossing, a $3.5 billion plan to replace the Interstate 5 bridge and rebuild the freeway between Portland and Vancouver. The target date for completing permit and review decisions is August 2015.

The other project is to provide faster train service on the southbound route from Seattle to Portland. The $89 million Point Defiance Bypass project will reroute passenger trains to another existing rail line to avoid conflict with rail freight traffic. The date for finalized permitting and review decisions would be by the end of this year.

The other two projects being expedited are in North Dakota and Maine.