The Chelan-Douglas Transportation Council is in the initial stages of a process that might eventually see the construction of a third bridge to carry vehicle traffic across the Columbia River in the Wenatchee Valley.

Council member, Kevin Overbay, says preliminary discussions have centered around the dedication of funding for a study to identify the best locations to build a new span.

“There are actually two studies that we have the funding potential for in our current budget. Those would be finishing up the State Route 28 corridor study, and then looking at a Columbia River crossing study, which basically would identify three to four scenarios for a third Columbia River bridge crossing location.”

Overbay says the council already has a few ideas for at least one location where such a study might focus upon.

“One of the ideas that came up was because of the large basalt cliff that’s by Rock Island Dam, it might be possible that if a third bridge was located just south of the dam that we’d be able to connect the Malaga-Alcoa Highway to State Route 28 at that location.”

Overbay likened the process at this point to, “throwing spaghetti against a wall to see what sticks,” but says a third vehicle bridge across the Columbia within the next ten to twenty years is a very real possibility.

Current projections indicate the Senator George Sellar Bridge, which is the Valley’s southernmost span for automotive traffic, will reach its daily load capacity by 2040.

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