Oregon Public Broadcasting

A bipartisan group of lawmakers from southwest Washington wants to revive the debate over the future of the Interstate 5 bridge.

Their push comes just weeks after Washington state legislators refused to spend $450 million to update the bridge, after years of planning for the project, and $170 million already spent.

The Columbian newspaper reports that seven Republicans and three Democrats from Clark County wrote to the head of Washington's transportation agency, proposing a return to negotiations.

Some of the letter writers voted against the project during the just-concluded legislative session in Olympia.

Now, they are calling for a guarantee that the bridge could withstand an earthquake, and a focus on highway and river traffic.

Opponents of the bridge project have criticized it for a price tag that tops $3 billion, a height level that would have blocked some river traffic, and the addition of a light rail line between Portland and Vancouver.

Supporters say failure to act this year would set an I-5 bridge replacement back at least a decade.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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