The legislature finds and declares that:
(1) Interstate toll bridges owned by local governments provide critical links for the transport of workers, services, tourism, and emergency response between Washington and Oregon, and for Washington and Oregon businesses to transport local agricultural products, forest products, rock and gravel, and manufactured products within their bistate regions and to broader national markets.
(2) Existing local government-owned interstate toll bridges are becoming functionally obsolete, weight-restricted, seismically deficient, and a hazardous obstacle for marine freight; and need to be replaced.
(3) Replacement of aging interstate toll bridges by local governments is extremely challenging, and local governments that own or are served by the bridges require additional means to address the problem. For some bistate regions, the successful replacement and subsequent operations of interstate toll bridges can be best accomplished by an independent bistate governmental authority, chartered by local governments, with sufficient powers to efficiently and equitably develop, operate, maintain, toll, and finance the replacement bridge.