Neil's the putative head of Tri-Met, a development transit agency that allegedly serves parts of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties in Oregon. Now he wants to renew efforts to ram light rail lines across the Columbia River into Clark County, Washington, and the fact that they've made it clear that they don't want the crime trains doesn't much matter to him:
“We haven’t solved the problem. The bridge was built for horses and it rests on Douglas fir pilings in mud in the Columbia River. A state geologist report on the bridge includes the term ‘total collapse’ in case of an earthquake,” says TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane.
Lie #1: the bridges were not built for horses, they were built for gas-powered vehicles. Lie #2: the bridges are not considered structurally deficient. Lie #3: the pilings are not "in mud"; they were sunk into bedrock, and with constant water flow, are expected to last for centuries.
Facing organizational bankruptcy, Neil's desperately seeking to buy time by pushing more mega-projects in hopes of qualifying for more "free" federal dollars, even as those are rapidly evaporating.
The current I-5 bridges may well collapse in a magnitude 9+ earthquake - but so will every other bridge in the state. McFarlane is simply fear-mongering. But hey - that worked for a decade or so. A lot of people made a lot of money. And almost all of them - like McFarlane himself - are founding members of the FOG - the Friends of Goldschmidt (an admitted child rapist who survived only because he paid his victim off until the statute of limitations expired).