Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Port of Prince Rupert becomes debate topic in Portland, Oregon

What does the Port of Prince Rupert have to do with the debate currently raging in Portland, Oregon over a new bridge for the Columbia River?

Well it the Columbian Newspaper is any indication, Prince Rupert's gateway to Asia will benefit greatly should Oregonians and Washingtonians continue on with their bickering over whether to build a new Columbia River Crossing.

That infrastructure project is an ambitious proposal to reduce congestion and make transit easier in the Portland area. A comprehensive website has been created, dedicated towards all aspects of that proposed and apparently controversial crossing, you can learn more about it here.

However, it has been a project that has sparked much debate of late, featured in a number of articles in recent days.

Portland Tribune-- I-5 bridge collapse focuses attention on Columbia River Crossing project
Oregon Live-- Skagit River Interstate 5 bridge collapse could cause Washington legislators to fund Columbia River Crossing
KATU-- Columbia River Crossing debate influenced by I-5 bridge collapse

The topic even has made it onto the pages of the internationally renowned Economist magazine.

While the bulk of the article in today's edition of the Columbian spends much of its content on the nature of infrastructure on the American coast (the Skagit River Bridge collapse is just one of the shopping list of concerns), for Prince Rupert residents and British Columbian's it will be the impression that the Port of Prince Rupert has made on the US that is fascinating.

The Port of Prince Rupert is in effect being used as a teaching aid for advocates in Portland and Vancouver, Washington for a bridge crossing.

You can read the full article from the Columbian here.

The Prince Rupert references can be found below:

Many Clark County residents might not know much about Prince Rupert, B.C., and for good reason. It's a city of only about 13,000 people. But the more you learn about Prince Rupert, the easier it is to understand why the Port of Vancouver and the Port of Portland avidly support the Columbia River Crossing and the commercial trade improvements the project offers. Prince Rupert boasts the fastest-growing container terminal in North America. Located on the coast in mid-British Columbia, it's the closest North American port to Asia. And it's the deepest ice-free harbor in North America. Shippers are attracted to both of those attributes. 

 Although they might never admit it, Prince Rupert Port Authority officials might take some delight at the continuing bickering here over the CRC. They know that every day the congestion continues on our Interstate 5 Bridge, cargo shippers -- who more than being conservatives or liberals are money makers -- consider using some port other than Vancouver's or Portland's. Prince Rupert leaders gladly proclaim: Come on up!

The article highlights some of the competitive advantages that the Port of Prince Rupert has over it's American competitors.

And while in the past the American ports have at times complained of any number perceived unfair advantages of their Canadian competition, in this case and in most of the other issues up and down the West coast,  it is more of infrastructure and congestion problem that the Ports such as Portland, Vancouver (WA), Oakland and Seattle are facing.

A problem, which judging by the controversial nature of this particular crossing, isn't one that is going to go away any time in the near future.

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