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Oregon says Columbia River bridge project is dead

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 7, 2014 at 9:30 pm •  Published: March 7, 2014

In a statement as the Oregon Legislature was preparing to adjourn Friday, House Speaker Tina Kotek laid the blame for this year's failure with both the Oregon Senate and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who she said failed to provide "clear, public commitment."

Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney had demanded that the Washington Legislature stand up first. With such strong opposition in the Senate, Kotek never called a vote in the House, though she maintains it could have passed.

"Oregon faces many challenges. These challenges require leaders with courage and a willingness to step up to tackle them head-on," Kotek said. "Oregonians should know that in 2013 the Oregon Legislature acted, and in 2014, the Oregon House was ready to lead again."

Washington Sen. Don Benton, a vocal opponent who helped lead the charge against the project in Olympia, was gleeful about the failure in Oregon.

"I'm very happy, and I'm sure all of my constituents and many in Clark County who aren't my constituents are thrilled to death to see this horrible boondoggle finally come to a close," Benton said.