I-5 - Interstate Bridge Replacement Program

Project news

  • For up-to-date program information including current news and opportunities to engage, please visit the Interstate Bridge Replacement program website at www.interstatebridge.org.

Why does the Interstate Bridge need to be replaced?

Replacing the aging Interstate Bridge across the Columbia River with a modern, seismically resilient, multimodal structure that provides improved mobility for people, goods and services is a high priority for Oregon and Washington. As the only continuous north-south interstate on the West Coast between Mexico and Canada, I-5 is a vital trade route for regional, national and international economies. With one span now over 100 years old, it is at risk for collapse in the event of a major earthquake and no longer satisfies the needs of modern commerce and travel. Operating and maintaining these aging structures costs around $1.2 million each year, split evenly between ODOT and WSDOT. Larger maintenance projects to keep the Interstate Bridge in service are expected to cost over $280 million through the year 2040, not including seismic retrofit.

Extensive community and stakeholder engagement has demonstrated widespread agreement that the six transportation problems previously identified with the Interstate Bridge remain current issues that need to be addressed:

  • Growing travel demand and congestion
  • Seismic vulnerability
  • Safety concerns as a result of existing roadway design
  • Impaired freight movement
  • Inadequate bicycle and pedestrian facilities
  • Limited public transportation

Restarting bridge replacement efforts

Recognizing that needed improvements remain unaddressed, Washington and Oregon each dedicated funding in 2019 to restart Interstate Bridge replacement work. The states’ governors and legislative leaders directed ODOT and WSDOT to open a bi-state project office to complete the planning, design and construction work. 

ODOT and WSDOT are jointly leading these efforts in coordination with eight other bi-state partner agencies: TriMet, C-TRAN, Oregon Metro, the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council, the cities of Portland and Vancouver, and the Ports of Portland and Vancouver. These agencies have a direct stake in future improvements because of their roles within the region’s integrated, multimodal transportation system. Together with ODOT and WSDOT, they will provide coordinated regional leadership throughout program development.

Bi-state legislative involvement will also be essential to successfully complete the planning and design process and move to construction. Each state legislature has identified eight lawmakers to provide direction and oversight to shape IBR program work. 

Comprehensive and equitable community engagement is at the foundation of decision making for the Interstate Bridge Replacement program to identify a bridge replacement solution that best serves the complex needs of communities in Washington and Oregon. To support these goals the program has formed three advisory groups to provide feedback and recommendations: Executive Steering Group, Equity Advisory Group, and Community Advisory Group.

What’s needed to replace the bridges?

Based on the program's current schedule, it is estimated that construction could begin in 2025. Before construction could begin on a replacement bridge, WSDOT and ODOT will need to work with partners to:

  • Complete the federal environmental review process 
  • Obtain necessary state and federal permits 
  • Finalize project design
  • Develop a finance plan 
  • Secure adequate funding
  • Complete right of way acquisition
  • Advertise for construction

The Interstate Bridge Replacement Program is committed to following a data-driven, transparent process that prioritizes equity and inclusion. The program will leverage previous planning efforts to update and improve upon past work to identify a solution that meets current and future community needs and priorities. This work will occur through joint efforts of the partner agencies in coordination with federal partners, permitting agencies, state and local elected officials, tribal governments, community stakeholders and the public. 

Learn more

Contact us

Program office phone:

  • 360-859-0494 (Washington)
  • 503-897-9218 (Oregon)
  • 888-503-6735 (toll-free)

Email: info@interstatebridge.org 

Visit the Interstate Bridge Replacement program Contact Us page to sign up for future email updates on this work, including public meeting notices and ways to stay engaged.

Note: The Washington State Department of Transportation is a public agency and is subject to the State of Washington’s Public Records Act (RCW 42.56). Therefore, public comments and questions may be made available to anyone requesting them for non-commercial purposes.

Map of the location of the Interstate Bridge on I-5 between Washington and Oregon

Interstate 5 Bridge between Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR facing north

Interstate 5 Bridge between Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR during a bridge lift