In Opinion

The Ridgefield rail overpass is now open – and it appears many of you have
come down just to drive over it. I hope you’re as proud of it as we are. You may
not realize it, but you had a hand in it.

The overpass is the latest Port project that is truly for Ridgefield, by Ridgefield.
Why? Because twenty-something years ago, community members and then-new
Port Commissioner Joe Melroy put the idea of a rail overpass up for
consideration as a community project. The Port Commission chose to pursue
it, and the idea took hold.

Local engineers sketched concepts and lined out the project. Local legislators
and our U.S. senators helped get planning dollars in place. With funds the
project became real; we worked with citizens to determine the best location
and configuration. Local planners, engineers and designers developed the
plan. When it went out to bid it was awarded to Tapani – a local north county
construction company.

What’s remarkable about the overpass is that it was built in, for and by people
in north county. This is important because the Port is a strong proponent of
local jobs, local investment and local people working to build the community in
which they live. The rail overpass is a testament to this core Port tenet.
What’s more, during construction local kids watched their parents (literally)
building the community they will inherit. Local people built a lasting piece of
community infrastructure and taught the next generation a valuable “can do”

IT3 is next up. Again, local citizens, business owners, entrepreneurs and
youth will come together to build a similar, but very different piece of community
infrastructure – the IT3 Innovation Center. With IT3 the Port will bring the next
chapter of north county’s economic prosperity to life for a future that will be
built in, for and by the people who live here.


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