This is approved design for the Columbia River Crossing, the replacement for the Interstate Bridge that now connects Interstate 5 from Oregon to Washington. It really doesn't qualify as a bridge: it's simply the place where the freeway crosses the river. The sole criterion for the decision was the $3.6 billion price tag, even though there were far better alternatives that didn't cost much more.
It will be a suitable monument to a culture that aspires to nothing -- the product of a political process that "knows the price of everything and the value of nothing." [Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan, 1893]
While mediocrity rules and infrastructure decays at home, the U.S. will spend $4.4 trillion on post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. The noneconomic human cost -- including such "externalities" as 225,000 deaths, nearly 8 million refugees and generalized misery -- is incalculable. The cost of a lost opportunity, such as an iconic bridge on the Columbia, hardly deserves mention in this context, but it will exact its own toll over time.