transportation

North Cascades Highway Closed

Nov 19, 2012

The North Cascades Highway is closed. The Washington State Department of Transportation closed the highway at noon Monday because of a danger of heavy snow and avalanche.

WSDOT / Flickr

There’s a lot of talk these days about tolls to pay for new state highway projects and bridges. Most drivers reluctantly pay up. But some will go miles out of their way to avoid a toll. That can clog local roads. Now one small Washington city is considering a toll of its own.

President Obama has announced that the Columbia River Crossing -- and three other infrastructure projects around the nation -- will be expedited.

Northwest drivers could be paying more at the pump.   That’s because this week’s refinery fire in California is likely to affect gas prices.  Ruby de Luna has more.

Analysts say get ready to pay as much as four dollars or more per gallon. You can blame the refinery fire in California for the spike. But what does that have to do with fuel prices here?

Overstreet: “We’re locked together at the hip by refinery system on the West Coast.”

Oregon Department of Transportation

Two passenger trains commissioned by the state of Oregon are months behind schedule. The trains were due to arrive nearly two months ago and enter service this fall at a cost of $36 million. But they haven't even left the factory in Wisconsin yet.

ODOT / Flickr

A joint effort in Oregon and Washington to make sure truckers are following safety rules turned up a higher than expected number of weary drivers. More than a quarter of drivers inspected in Oregon were found to be on the road when they shouldn't have been.

Photo by Scott Granneman / Flickr

This week crews are cleaning up about 30 train cars full of coal that overturned near Mesa, in Eastern Washington. The accident has raised questions about proposed increased train shipments of coal through the nearby Columbia River Gorge. Correspondent Anna King has more.

County Payments Included In Transportation Bill

Jun 28, 2012

Congressman Greg Walden says a one-year extension of federal payments for timber-dependent counties is included in the Transportation bill. Walden predicts the bill could come to a floor vote by Friday.

The proposal would secure $100 million dollars for places like Josephine, Curry, and Lane Counties. All three counties have struggled to raise revenue as timber harvests have dwindled. Walden acknowledged the revenue problems in timber country have dragged out over the years with extension after extension.  But he sees the issue coming to a head with this last payment.

University of Idaho and City of Moscow officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for a new $2 million Intermodal Transit Center on the Palouse. The facility will be located on the east end of the university campus and serve as a hub for regional buses, taxis, and other transportation services. This is UI President Duane Nellis.

Nellis: “This type of facility is something that I think is important for our community, that is a community that we are looking to grow in a quality way, toward sustainable development.”

520 Bridge Workers Caught Drinking On The Job

May 23, 2012
Photo credit: Jelson25 / Wikimedia Commons

KOMO 4 Television broadcast a story showing workers on the 520 Bridge construction project drinking on the job. Washington State Department of Transportation is launching an investigation looking into the details.

KOMO’s story caught employees walking into work carrying two twelve packs of beer on a Friday afternoon. Hidden cameras also showed several workers swigging back bottles of beer at their desks, allegedly during work hours.

The workers are employees of KGM, a joint venture firm of Kiewit, General and Manson. The company won the bid to design and build the 520 floating bridge. The contract is worth $586 million.

WSDOT Communications Director Steve Pierce says the company is highly regarded. He isn’t worried about the quality of their work.

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