Building trades’ Camarillo named to I-5 Bridge advisory group


Oregon Building Trades leader Robert Camarillo welcomes union members to the Capitol Feb. 19, 2020.

Robert Camarillo, executive secretary of the Oregon Building Trades Council, has been named to the 32-member Interstate Bridge Replacement Community Advisory Group (CAG). The bi-state group will develop recommendations for replacing the aging I-5 bridge that spans the Columbia River between Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington. Governors and legislative leaders in both states directed their respective Transportation Departments to launch the program to lead the work.

A previous version of the bridge project was derailed in 2013 after the State of Washington failed to approve its share of the funding. Planning for the bridge replacement—then known as the Columbia River Crossing—had been ongoing for more than a decade, with nearly $200 million spent. Oregon tried to piece together a scaled down version, but that fizzled in 2014.

The newly created advisory group will be led by two co-chairs, one representing each state, who will also serve on an executive steering group comprised of public officials from both states. There will also be a 30-member Equity Advisory Group. Selection for that committee is still under way.

CAG, the advisory group Camarillo serves on, includes representatives of stakeholder groups as well as at-large community members selected through a public application pro-cess.

Camarillo, 44, has led the Oregon Building Trades Council since May 2018. A member of Iron Workers Local 29, he previously worked as an organizer for the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Iron Workers, and has served as a business agent, vice president, and president of Local 29.

The two advisory groups and executive steering group will meet monthly. The first meetings were held Jan. 25 and Jan. 27. All meetings will be held via Zoom to follow the states’ physical distancing guidelines for slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Ten virtual public meetings and events are slated for February, including a two-week online open house starting Feb. 16. The Executive Steering Group will meet 1-3 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 17. The Community Advisory Group will meet 4-6 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 10, and 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24. And community briefings are slated 5:30-6:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 18; noon-1 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 23; 5:30-6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 23 (Spanish-language only); and 6-7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 25.Details for the open house will be available at beginning Feb. 16.


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