wsdot logoConnecting people, connecting communities

OLYMPIA – The 2016 Washington State Public Transportation Plan is now available. The plan provides a 20-year diverse and integrated framework for public and private transportation systems and services. Two years in the making, the plan represents a collaborative effort between the Washington State Department of Transportation, statewide partners, and communities.

“People throughout Washington rely on public transportation, whether it’s buses, rail, rideshare, bike trails or even walking to get where they want to go,” said WSDOT Acting Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar. “This plan sets a future direction for Washington’s public transportation that supports families, communities, the economy and environment.”

Washington’s citizens helped shape the plan with ongoing participation in advisory committees, workshops and organizations, as well as during the public comment period. One of the key elements of the plan is a program of near-term actions that can be implemented in the current biennium. WSDOT and its partners are continuing to collaborate on these actions to make measurable progress on the plan. The first progress report is expected in December 2017.

About the plan

The 2016 Washington State Public Transportation Plan describes a broad array of public transportation services and systems that do not involve a single person in a motorized vehicle. The five goals in the plan cover thriving communities, access, adaptive transportation capacity, customer experience and transportation system guardianship. Strategies, early actions and partner organizations are identified for each goal.

For more information

Visit ­­­­­­­­­­www.wsdot.wa.gov/Transit/TransportationPlan for more information, or contact the WSDOT Public Transportation Division at 360-705-7922 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

douglascountysheriff148The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is happy to announce the implementation of the AlertSense (company name) Public Alert Warning System.  This will enhance public safety in two ways:

  1. First, once requested by a public safety entity, the service will automatically alert anyone with a cell phone or hardline phone within a defined area.  For example, if there is a fire closing in on a populated area, I can call RiverCom and have them basically draw a polygon around the imperiled location.  The software activates the cell towers in the area and sends a message to all cell phones regardless of the carrier.  It also sends a message to all hardline phone.  That data was populated using the white and yellow pages.
  2. Second, citizens can sign up to receive the alerts.  This allows subscribers to receive the alerts even if they are not in the defined area.  In this case, a homeowner would be able to receive the alert via cell and e-mail.  The subscriber would be able to enter locations such as their home, a child’s school, or the home where aging parents live.  Simply put, add all locations that matter to you.  There is no cost and persons may sign up at:  http://public.alertsense.com/SignUp/?regionid=1183   One may also go to:  http://www.douglascountysheriff.org/ and click on the AlertSense logo at  the bottom of the page.

We will still use local media, and when appropriate, law enforcement personnel to alert community members of danger.  This is just another layer of notification to keep the public informed.

This has taken us some time to plan and put into use.  I am extremely grateful to my Undersheriff, Kevin Morris, my Emergency Management Specialist, Mike Dingle, and my Administrative Assistant, Tiffany Augustson for all their work on this project.  I also appreciate all the support we were given by our board of county commissioners.

Very Respectfully,

Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal

vanderholmDon Vanderholm, Manson High School Principal was the recipient of the RJH. Don was selected representing medium size school districts in the state. He was recognized at the WASA Summer Conference held in Spokane, Washington on June 27, 2016.

The Robert J. Handy Most Effective Administrator Award, sponsored by PEMCO Insurance and WASA (Washington Association of School Administrators), recognize outstanding public school administrators in Washington State. One highly effective superintendent, central office administrator, or building administrator is selected from a small school district (up to 500 students), medium size school district (501–2,000 students), and large school district (over 2,000 students). A $10,000 award is equally divided among the three winners. A peer committee selects the recipients from nominations that describe how each nominee is taking part in realizing the nine characteristics of high performing schools/districts as defined by research from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Colleague Heather Ireland shared, “Don has worked with his staff, students and members of the community to enhance student learning and experiences in a rigorous and meaningful way. I am very proud of my colleague and I’m excited to see him honored by school administrators from across the state.”

In anticipation of a safe and happy Independence Day Holiday, Sheriff Brian Burnett would like to share the following information regarding “Operation Dry Water” with the residents of and visitors to Chelan County:

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The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office reminds boaters –
On the road or on the water, you’re going nowhere if you are impaired

Nationwide crackdown on boating under the influence during Operation Dry Water

With the recreational boating season in full swing, the Chelan County Sheriff’s Officeis ramping up its enforcement efforts as part of a national crackdown on boating under the influence. The nationwide awareness and enforcement campaign, Operation Dry Water, is a partnership of the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the U.S. Coast Guard with a mission of putting an end to impaired boating. The goal of Operation Dry Water is to raise awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence and to reduce the number of accidents and deaths attributed to impaired boating.

June 24-26, 2016, just prior to the July 4th holiday, law enforcement nationwide will show zero tolerance for boating under the influence. Boaters can expect to see an increase in the numbers of officers on the water. The goal of all law enforcement involved is to remove impaired operators from the waterways and secure a safe and enjoyable boating experience for those on the water.

"We know there will be a lot of boaters out enjoying the warmer weather and we want boaters to know we will be out making sure the water stays safe for them to enjoy," said Marine Patrol Deputy Ryan Moody. "Just as drinking and driving on the road is illegal and dangerous, we want to emphasize that drinking and boating is equally as dangerous and can lead to equal consequences as well, including arrests, termination of voyage, serious injuries and even death."

Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths in the United States. Whether a person is operating a car on the road, or a boat on the water, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and can lead to serious consequences for operators and passengers alike. In Washington it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol concentration level of .08 or higher– the same as it is to operate a vehicle. If you are found to be impaired and operating a boat, you will be arrested.

Visit operationdrywater.org for more information about boating under the influence.

 

douglascountysheriff148On 06/24/16 at 9:15 PM Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a fire on Rock Island Grade approximately 1 mile from Hwy. 28.  A Deputy located a man watching the fire.  He admitted he had accidently started the fire.  He said he had been camping in a wide spot in the road.  He was preparing to leave and was attempting to burn a bag of trash and an old sleeping bag.  The fire got away from him and caught the brush on fire. 

The subject was identified as a 61 year old Wenatchee man.  The case was sent to the Douglas County Prosecutor for consideration of charges.  Douglas County Fire District 2 was the initial response. The incident was turned over to BLM firefighters today. 

I can’t urge people enough to be careful with fire. 

Very Respectfully,

Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal

sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett reports that four lost hikers were located this morning near Edwards Peak approximately 7 miles southwest of Leavenworth. The hikers were attempting to hike through the Enchantments but got off trail and became lost. They were identified as Brian Keeley (26) of Grand Rapids, MI; Anthony McAllister (27) of Grand Rapids, MI; Mary Keeley (25) of Austin, TX; and Joseph Smith (28) of San Antonio, TX.

At 7:49pm on Thursday RIVERCOM dispatch center received a call from one of the hikers stating that they were lost. RIVERCOM was able to get cell phone coordinates from the 911 call that plotted just west of Edwards Peak. The hikers stated that they were cold and wet but were not injured. They did not have any overnight gear with them but were able to find some shelter for the night. They were advised to stay put and rescuers would be en route in the morning.

This morning at 6:45am, a Chelan County Sheriff’s Office helicopter (Air 30) responded to the area and located the hikers. Air 30 inserted a deputy into the area and he escorted the hikers to a safe landing zone near Toketie Lake. They were flown to the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery where they were met by a family member.

wsdot logoHYAK – The Washington State Department of Transportation is in the middle of one of the busiest construction seasons on I-90 with close to a dozen work zones from the summit of Snoqualmie Pass to Vantage. Due to a number of events taking place in eastern Washington this weekend, drivers are encouraged to either get to their destinations early, wait to go later or use an alternate route.

Starting Thursday, June 23 through Friday, June 24 drivers will see delays in both directions near the Cle Elum area (mileposts 84 to 93) due to a paving project. Drivers are encouraged to use an alternate route via US 97 to SR 10.

The Vantage Bridge is still down to a single lane eastbound due to a painting project. Drivers headed east will experience heavy congestion and stop and go traffic between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. and should consider taking an alternate route via US 97, I-82 or SR 24.

Rock blasting is scheduled to close I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass in both directions from mileposts 56 to 62 for an hour at 8 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, June 21 and Thursday, June 23.

For information regarding delays east of Snoqualmie Pass follow us on Twitter @wsdot_east, @snoqualmiepass, tune into the Highway Advisory Radio at 1610 AM or 530 AM or check the Travel Alerts Web page.

douglascountysheriff148On 06/14/16 at approximately 5:04 AM Douglas County Deputies responded to an assault complaint at the 500 Blk. of West 1st Ave in Waterville.  The female complainant reported that she had befriended a subject identified as 24 year old Ashley M. Knight of Chelan. 

Knight told the victim she was homeless and asked the complainant if she could stay with her for a while.  The complaint consented.  She then went out for the evening.  When the complainant returned home at approximately 4:30 AM, there was an unknown black Durango parked in the driveway. 

When the complainant entered the house, Knight and an unknown Hispanic male were rummaging through her belongings.  When the complainant confront Knight and the Hispanic male, Knight struck her in the jaw with the hammer.  Knight and the Hispanic male then fled in the black Durango.  The victim refused medical attention and said she would take herself to the doctor. 

Chelan County Deputies later located Knight in Wenatchee and turned her over to Douglas County Detectives.  She was  booked into jail for Assault 2nd degree and Burglary 1st degree.

I appreciate the great investigation done by our team and the assistance by our partners in Chelan County.

Very Respectfully,

Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal

douglascountysheriff148On 06/15/16 at approximately 8:15 PM RiverCom dispatch received a call from a subject who reported a burglar was at her residence and had shot one of her family members.  Deputies responded to the scene which was in the 2600 Blk. of 10th St. NE near East Wenatchee.  Units from the East Wenatchee Police Department and Washington State Patrol also arrived to assist.  They found two injured males at the location.  One appeared to have gunshot wounds.  The other appeared to have been stabbed and may also have had a gunshot wound.  Both were transported to Confluence Hospital.  At the time of this release, Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputies, crime scene team members, and detectives are at the scene of the incident and at the hospital working on the investigation.  The condition of the two wounded persons is not known.  No further information can be released at this time.  Additional information will be released as it becomes available. 

UPDATE:

Thus far, the investigation indicates that on 06/15/16 at 8:15 PM RiverCom dispatch received a call from a female who reported that her house was being burglarized and that her father had been shot.  When Deputies arrived they found the suspect, later identified as 35 year old Seth Williams of East Wenatchee, and the male homeowner facing each other in the street in front of the residence.   The Deputies could see both parties were injured.  Williams was subdued.  Both men were transported to Confluence Hospital.   Williams passed away at about 12:15 AM while in surgery.  The victim was released to go home on Thursday morning.

Physical evidence, interviews with the victim, and interviews with witnesses revealed that at approximately 8:10 PM the homeowner at the residence noticed a red pickup pull in his driveway.  He recognized the driver as Seth Williams.  The two had known each other as fellow veterans for about five months.  As the victim approached the truck, Williams produced a rifle from inside the vehicle and shot at the victim.  The round grazed the front of his chest.  The victim, who was armed with a 9 mm pistol, chose to retreat towards the road.  The rifle used by Williams had jammed with the first shot.  Williams came after the victim carrying a knife and swinging a set of binoculars by the strap.  The victim was able to deflect the binoculars, but Williams was able to stab him in the leg with the knife.  The  victim drew his pistol and shot Williams several times.  At this point, law enforcement officials arrived and took custody of Williams and requested medical aid for both men. 

A related case occurred at 1800 hours that same day when the victim reported a burglary at the residence.  Family members spotted a male leaving the a shop area carrying a duffle bag.   The male fled in a red pickup.  Investigators found a shop window had been broken to gain entry.  Williams is suspected to have been the intruder.  Additional details are being gathered by investigators.

No clear motive has been identified, but Williams may have been struggling with emotional issues.  An autopsy has been ordered and additional investigation is being completed.  The evidence available suggests the this was a case of self-defense by the victim.

Very Respectfully,

Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal

manson schoolManson's class of 2016 has proven that numbers aren't everything. This small class of graduates showed their stuff at both Senior Awards night and in the commencement exercises this past week.   

Thirty-one students took in more than 1 million dollars in scholarships and financial awards. Valedictorian Delacey Machus received State honors ranking in the top 10% of all Washington graduates. Jared Lamar was honored to receive Manson's prestigious Mel Steele award. The class was treated with a visit by Congressman Dave Reichert who spoke at graduation.

Manson High School would like to thank parents, community, and businesses for all of their fantastic support of this year’s class. Together we said goodbye and good luck to a great group of seniors.

 

manson parks logo

Regular Board Meeting
142 Pedoi St., Bumgarner Building, June 9th, 2016, 4:00pm


I. Call to Order
II. Flag Salute
III. Agenda Deletions and Additions
IV. Public Comment/Questions
V. Approval of Minutes
a. Minutes of the May 12th, 2016 Regular Meeting
VI. Financial Review
a. Review Monthly Financial Reports
b. Review and Approve Monthly Voucher
VII. Old Business
a. Director’s Report
b. Park Improvements
i. Downtown Waterfront Master Plan
ii. Willow Point
iii. Project Priorities
VIII. New Business
a. Old Mill and Manson Bay Street/Parking Lights
b. Conference Room Policy
c. Snow Cone at Manson Bay
d. Right of Way Parks
e. Marina Policy
IX. Adjournment

Next Regular Meeting: July 14th, 2016 at 4:00pm, 142 Pedoi St., Bumgarner Building

sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett is proud to announce the release of a new mobile app, MyAlerts, powered by AlertSense, the county’s new emergency alerting service. Chelan County residents and visitors can now receive life-saving emergency alerts and advance warning of severe weather directly on their Android or Apple iOS phone or tablet. You can download the free MyAlerts app from the Google Play Store or the App Store. Below is a list of the type of alerts you can choose to receive.

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.AlertSense.PublicApp

iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/alertsense/id926041285?mt=8

Severe Weather Alerts

Receive advanced warning of severe weather when you or one of your locations is in the direct path of a storm. AlertSense automatically interprets the geographic area affected, and delivers targeted alerts immediately to app users when one of their locations falls within the impacted area.

Public Safety Alerts

Receive emergency alerts from public safety alerting authorities, notifying you of situations that threaten the safety of yourself or those that you care about. Public safety alerts include events such as crime, active shooter, imminent danger, hazardous materials, wildfire, floods and the need for immediate evacuation.

Community Notifications

You can also choose to receive notifications of events in your community that, while not life-threatening emergencies, still impact your daily life and commute, such as road closures and power outages.

This program is strictly voluntary. These alerts are provided free of charge, however standard text messaging rates and other charges may apply.

wsdot logo$12M available for two programs; applications due to WSDOT July 15

OLYMPIA – Applications are now being accepted for state-funded grants and loans for projects that improve freight rail services in Washington. Funds will be available in July 2017.

Railroads, port districts, rail districts, private companies and local governments are eligible to apply for part of $12.04 million in grants and loans available through two programs administered through the Washington State Department of Transportation. The programs help freight rail systems that create family-wage jobs as well as improve overall freight mobility.The Freight Rail Investment Bank provides loans to small public projects. The investment bank has $5 million available in loans. Meanwhile, the Freight Rail Assistance Program provides grants to both public and private projects, specifically projects strategically important to local communities and the state. This program has $7.04 million available for grants, a portion of which comes from the Connecting Washington revenue package passed by the state Legislature. Projects selected for funding will best demonstrate how freight rail shipping eases congestion on busy highways, reduces wear and tear on state roads, strengthens the state’s economy through domestic and international trade, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.Applications for both programs are due Friday, July 15.

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Update 6/8/16 at 1015 hours

     Sheriff Burnett has identified the missing Aasgard hiker as 24 year old Qi He. Mr. He is a Chinese citizen who was living and working as a Student/Intern in the Seattle area. With assistance from local Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents, the Chinese Embassy and Mr. He’s employer, his family was notified of the incident.

********

Update 6/7/16 at 1100 hours

     The active search for the missing hiker on Aasgard Pass has been suspended for now. The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit will monitor the weather conditions and snowpack levels with the intention to resume an organized recovery effort in the future.

     The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office has identified the missing hiker as a 24 year old male from the Seattle area. The release of his name is being withheld pending next of kin notification.

********

Update 6/6/16 at 1300 hours

     As of 1:00 p.m. today Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit has suspended their search efforts to locate the missing hiker. Ground units located the waterfall hole were the missing hiker entered. Search crews entered approximately 40 feet into the hole, but the missing hiker was not located. The area searched is filled with fast moving water and is covered by several feet of snow and ice. Search crews could not check beyond the 40 feet because of the hazardous conditions and safety concerns. Ground crews believe the hiker was swept a lengthy distance downstream from the location he entered. The stream ultimately enters into Colchuck Lake.    

   Chelan County Search and Rescue crews and Chelan County Detectives are still trying to identify the missing hiker. We currently do not have any updated information on his identity.

********

On June 5 shortly before 10:00pm Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a group of individuals were glissading down the snow on Asgaard Pass. One of the subjects, who was in front of the others, slid over the edge of a waterfall hole and into rushing water. The current water flow is heavy and leads underneath the snow. The Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from the U.S. Navy, who provide a helicopter with FLIR capabilities to search for the individual. The Navy searched without success and then returned to their base. The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit is currently inserting ground rescue members in an attempt to locate the individual.

The Sheriff’s Office only has a first name of the missing subject, which has not been verified. The only confirmed information we currently have is the missing subject is a male and approximately 24 years of age. The group had just met each other the previous day.

“Glissading” is described as sliding down a steep slope of snow or ice with the support of an ice axe.

Additional information will be released as it is gathered.

douglascountysheriff148On 06/03/16 Douglas County Deputies worked with the Brewster Police Department to develop information regarding a suspected methamphetamine dealer who lived in Bridgeport.  Deputies applied for and were granted a search warrant for a residence in a trailer court at 929 Maple St. 

Deputies discovered approximately 9.6 grams of suspected methamphetamine which appeared to be packaged for sale.  Also seized was a scale typically used for that type of criminal endeavor. 

Deputies arrested 36 year old Nabor Navarrete of Bridgeport for Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Deliver.  He was transported and booked at the Okanogan County Jail without incident or injury.

Great work by the Deputies and BPD officer.

Very Respectfully,

Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal

sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett reports two overdue climbers were located late Thursday evening near the base of Asgaard Pass in the Colchuck Lake area of west Chelan County. At 3:00pm on Thursday Search & Rescue coordinators received information from family members that a 17 year old male and 19 year old male were overdue returning to the Seattle area after a planned climb of Dragontail Peak. The subjects had driven to the Stuart Lake trailhead late Tuesday evening and planned to camp near Colchuck Lake and then summit the peak on Wednesday. They were expected to return home by late Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Family, friends, and employers had not heard from either subject.

A vehicle belonging to the 17 year old was located at the Stuart Lake trailhead Thursday afternoon. A two-man search team consisting of one Sheriff¡¦s Office SAR deputy and one Chelan County Mountain Rescue member deployed from the trailhead to Colchuck Lake on Thursday evening to conduct an initial check of the area for the subjects. At 11:14pm SAR command was advised by the search team that they had located the two subjects descending Asgaard Pass (which runs between Colchuck Peak and Dragontail).

Christian Junkar (19yoa) and his 17 year old friend (both from Seattle) advised they experienced complications in their climb shortly after beginning the ascent along the "Backbone" route of Dragontail Peak Wednesday morning. At one point, a climbing pack containing food, water, hiking boots and other survival essentials had fallen off rope and was lost. As the subjects continued their climb on Wednesday afternoon, they encountered rain, sleet, cold temperatures, and strong winds further hampered their effort. Both became hypothermic and had little ability to establish a shelter on the mountain. Eventually, the subjects were able to descend down to Asgaard Pass on Thursday morning and eventually make it back to Colchuck Lake where they were contacted by the rescuers that evening. Junkar had minimal feeling in both of his feet due to hypothermia and initial stages of frostbite. He had to descend the mountain in the snow only wearing light climbing shoes due to his boots being in the pack that was lost Wednesday morning. The 17 year old suffered initial frostbite to the fingers on both hands. Both subjects were dehydrated, cold and hungry.

The search and rescue team stabilized the subjects at Colchuck Lake and established a camp with them Thursday night while requesting a helicopter extraction for both on Friday. The Chelan County Sheriff¡¦s Office helicopter "AIR-30" responded early Friday morning and transported both subjects to the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery helipad. They were then taken to Cascade Medical Center via ambulance. Both subjects were treated and released on Friday.

sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett reports on 05/31/2016 a Middle School Student reported being contacted by a suspicious male while walking home from school. The male was described as being a Caucasian man between 50 and 60 years old, balding with hair on the sides of his head. The male was driving a small teal colored SUV. The male asked the student if he needed a ride home. The student declined and the male drove away.

The student’s decision to decline the male’s offer may well have prevented a tragedy. We encourage parents to talk with their children and whenever possible have them walk with others and never approach a vehicle they do not recognize. Children should be encouraged to report any suspicious contacts to their parents, school officials, or law enforcement.

Editor note:  When I was a kid we had a special password in case there really was a reason for a stranger to come and get you.

manson trojans logoOn behalf of the players and coaching staff of the Manson High School Football team, I would like to invite you to be a part of our 6th annual “Trojan Scramble Golf Tournament.“ The tournament is scheduled for Memorial Day Monday, May 30, 2016 at the Lake Chelan Municipal Golf Course at 1:00 PM. The cost of the tournament is $75/player or $300/team. Contribute an additional $25/player or $100/team and have all players included in the “Long Drive” and “Closest to the Pin” competitions as well as receive 4 team mulligans. Additional mulligans can be purchased for $10 each. Winners of the various competitions and raffles will win an assortment of wonderful prizes. The winners of the Low Gross and Low Net categories will both receive a traveling trophy for the year. A tournament signup sheet has been included with this letter.

Team Signup Sheet

Sponsor Signup Sheet

If you’re not interested in golfing, but would still like to support our program you can sign up to sponsor the tournament. There are three levels of tournament sponsorships; Primary Team and Tournament Sponsor $500 or greater, Tee Box and Hole Sponsor $250-$475, and a Player Sponsor $200. A tournament and player sponsorship signup sheet has also been included with this letter.

The sponsorship funds will be channeled through the Manson Booster Club and will go directly toward the support of our Manson Football Program. The money will be used to offset much of the costs associated with getting our players to camp. Each player will still be responsible for paying $100 of the $305 total cost of the camp. The players will also be responsible for putting in numerous hours throughout the summer providing various community services. The team is planning to provide 2 full days of community service in order to bond as a unit and say thanks for all of the wonderful community support.

The funds generated will be used to go to Eastern Washington University’s football camp which is scheduled for June 22-25. It is an amazing opportunity to receive top notch instruction and at the same time focus on four full days of team building. If you have any questions regarding the tournament or sponsorships please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Scott Ward


Scott Ward

Manson High School

Head Football Coach

wsdot logo‘Know before you go’ the key to negotiating holiday traffic

OLYMPIA – With Memorial Day fast approaching, now is the time to start planning ahead to avoid spending the holiday weekend stuck in traffic.

Drivers can use the Washington State Department of Transportation’s traffic volume charts to help time their travel on key routes throughout the weekend. Drivers also can:

  • Check out WSDOT’s mobile app, social media sites – such as Twitter and Facebook – and for traffic information and ferry schedules to “know before you go.”
  • Pre-program your vehicle radio to 530 AM and 1610 AM for highway advisory radio alerts.
  • Allow extra time for holiday travel and congestion; consider traveling during non-peak hours; stay alert to avoid collisions in congested areas.

To ease congestion, most state highway construction work is suspended during the holiday weekend. Across the Vantage Bridge on Interstate 90, though, eastbound drivers will experience delays due to a round-the-clock single-lane closure. In addition, loads over 14 feet wide are prohibited in both directions.

On Memorial Day, Monday, May 30:

Washington State Ferries passengers should expect heavier traffic during the holiday weekend and reservations are strongly recommended for the Anacortes/San Juan Islands, Anacortes/Sidney, British Columbia and Port Townsend/Coupeville ferry routes.

Travelers planning to avoid highway congestion by traveling by train, personal aircraft or bus also should factor the holiday into their plans:

  • Amtrak Cascades passengers are encouraged to purchase tickets early and should plan to arrive at the station one hour before departure. Book now
  • WSDOT provides updates on state-operated airports 
  • Most public transit systems will follow a holiday schedule, and some transit systems will not operate fixed-route or Dial-A-Ride service on holidays.

wash traffic commissionRisks far outweigh benefits of 75 mph limit, according to state’s analysis

SPOKANE – After careful review, analysis and public input, the Washington State Department of Transportation, Washington State Patrol and Washington Traffic Safety Commission announced today that, due to safety concerns, they will not increase speed limit on Interstate 90 in eastern Washington.

The partners reviewed increasing the speed limit from 70 to 75 mph along roughly 100 miles of I-90 beginning near George to the Lincoln/Spokane county line. They found the increased risks and costs associated with the proposed change far outweighed the projected time savings.

In particular, analysis of the roadway, crash history, current speeds and other states’ experiences predicted an additional 1.27 fatal or serious crashes annually if the speed limit was raised. A higher speed limit also would bring an estimated $8.3 million in additional annual safety costs, the analysis found.

By comparison, the review found that raising the speed limit to 75 mph would save just an estimated five minutes on a 100-mile trip, with an estimated annual value of $3.6 million in time saved.

“Our top priority as agencies is traffic safety,” said Acting Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar. “We made this decision through a lens of safety, and it’s notable that all three agencies agreed the increased safety risks were too high.”

“Our state’s Target Zero Plan aims to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries to zero by 2030,” said Darrin Grondel, Washington Traffic Safety Commission Director, “We believe this decision supports this goal.”

“The Washington State Patrol stands with two of our many safety partners, the Traffic Safety Commission and the Department of Transportation regarding our goal of Target Zero,” said Chief John R. Batiste. “After careful review of the facts and the comments from the public, I support the decision not to increase the speed limit.”

The review was done at the request of eastern Washington lawmakers who wanted the feasibility of an increased speed limit evaluated. A law passed in 2015 allows for an increase if it’s deemed safe to do so.

The three partnering agencies began their work in August, using careful analysis of available traffic and engineering data as well as input from the public. Two public meetings were held in Ritzville and Moses Lake in April, and comments also were submitted through the WSDOT website. Public input received serious consideration, but safety remained the final, guiding standard, officials said.

wash traffic commissionOLYMPIA – Toll rate changes for the State Route 520 bridge and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge will be among the action items for the Washington State Transportation Commission during its meeting next week in Olympia.

The meeting starts at 8:30 a.m. both Tuesday and Wednesday, May 17 - 18, at the Transportation Building, 310 Maple Park Ave. SE, on the Capitol Campus in Olympia. This meeting is open to the public and persons wishing to speak to the commission may do so during public comment periods at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday and at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday. Public comment will be taken on each toll rate proposal prior to commission action on Tuesday afternoon.

At 1 p.m. Tuesday, the commission is scheduled to repeal a 50-cent toll increase, enacted last year for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge that would have taken effect July 1. A $2.5 million appropriation from the Legislature, and higher than forecasted bridge traffic, allows current toll levels to remain in place to meet debt obligations. The commission also will act to increase SR 520 bridge tolls in two steps over the next two years, with average 5 percent toll increases each year; that equates to weekday, peak period tolls increasing 20 cents each year. Other tolling topics on the agenda include a review of tolling over the past year, and an update on Interstate 405 operations and performance.

In response to requests from the 2016 Legislature, the commission also will act to name State Route 99 the “William P. Stewart Memorial Highway,” and name a portion of State Route 509 near the Port of Tacoma the “Philip Martin Lelli Memorial Highway.” Stewart lived and farmed in Snohomish County after volunteering as a member of the 29th U.S. Colored Infantry regiment during the Civil War. Lelli was a longshoreman and Port Commissioner who led the modernization and diversification of the Port of Tacoma.  

On Tuesday afternoon, Washington State Department of Transportation Acting Secretary Roger Millar will talk about the renewed emphasis on highway worker safety and using social media to remind and educate drivers to slow down in work zones.

Other topics on Tuesday and Wednesday include several presentations on future-oriented transportation proposals from both the private and public sectors. On Tuesday, former Gov. Christine Gregoire will brief the commission on the transportation elements of Challenge Seattle, an effort spearheaded by businesses in the region to ensure continued growth and well-being in the Seattle area. And on Wednesday, representatives of the Washington Business Alliance will detail their ideas for leveraging public-private partnerships to improve transportation in the state.

The commission also will hear from Sound Transit and Metro about their long-range plans, from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission about new ways to reduce deaths and serious injuries on highways, and from the Puget Sound Regional Council’s task force about long-range transportation funding recommendations.

For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/

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UPDATE 5/16/16

The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office is releasing the name of the rock climber killed during a fall on Saturday afternoon in the Icicle River drainage area west of Leavenworth. Zulfiya Dokukina (50 years old) of SeaTac was climbing the “Bob’s Crack” route of the “Bob’s Wall” rock climbing area at the time of the accident. Dokukina had completed one route on the wall, and was not secured to any type of rope or other safety device while transitioning to another route. There are no known eyewitnesses to the actual incident, so the exact cause of the fall remains undetermined at this time.

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Sheriff Brian Burnett reports that on Saturday May 14th, 2016 at 2:52pm RIVERCOM dispatch was notified of a fallen climber in the vicinity of the “Bob’s Wall” rock climbing area in the Icicle River drainage west of Leavenworth, WA. It was determined a 50 year old female from Seatac, WA had fallen approximately 80 feet while climbing with others in the area.

Rescuers from the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office High Angle Rope Rescue Team (HARRT) and, Chelan County Mountain Rescue (CCMR) were training nearby and immediately responded to the accident scene. Cascade Medics and Chelan County Volunteer Search and Rescue also responded to assist. CPR was being performed on the fallen climber as responders arrived on scene. However, she did not survive her injuries. The exact cause of the fall is under investigation.

The Sheriff’s Office is withholding the name of the deceased pending next of kin notification.

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Regular Board Meeting
142 Pedoi St., Bumgarner Building, May 12th, 2016, 4:00pm
I. Call to Order
II. Flag Salute
III. Agenda Deletions and Additions
IV. Public Comment/Questions
V. Approval of Minutes
a. Minutes of the April 14th, 2016 Regular Meeting
VI. Financial Review
a. Review Monthly Financial Reports
b. Review and Approve Monthly Voucher
VII. Old Business
a. Director’s Report
b. Park Improvements
i. Downtown Waterfront Master Plan
ii. Willow Point
iii. Project Priorities
VIII. New Business
a. Geocache Drawing
b. Hydros 2016
IX. Adjournment
Next Regular Meeting: June 9th, 2016 at 4:00pm, 142 Pedoi St., Bumgarner Building

sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett reports that on Sunday May 8th at 10:25am RIVERCOM dispatch was advised of an injured climber on the Snow Creek Wall above the Icicle River drainage southwest of Leavenworth, WA. The climber had reportedly fallen and suffered a fractured right ankle while ascending the second pitch of the “Orbit” route. Two other climbers in the party were attempting to lower the injured subject to the base of the wall.

The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office High Angle Rope Rescue Team (HARRT) and Chelan County Mountain Rescue (CCMR) members responded to the incident along with Chelan County Search & Rescue. When responders arrived at the scene, the injured subject had been successfully lowered to the base of the Snow Creek Wall by his climbing partners. The HARRT team and CCMR members worked together to rig a rope and litter system to move the subject the remainder of the way down to the Snow Lakes Trail. SAR volunteers used a wheeled litter to transport the subject down to the trailhead by 6:51pm. This search & rescue mission took over 8 hours to complete due to the terrain and distance from the trailhead.

The injured subject, Andrei Maksimenka (41yoa) from Sammamish, WA was transported by Cascade Ambulance to Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee for treatment.

sheriffsmUPDATE:

The victim of yesterday’s accident in the Wenatchee River near Dryden has been identified as 53 year old Keith M. Thomas of Shelton. Mr. Thomas and a teenage girl were in a commercial raft operated by Orion River Rafting of Leavenworth when the accident occurred. An autopsy has been scheduled.

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Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a fatality this afternoon on the Wenatchee River near Dryden.

A commercial raft occupied by an adult male in his 50’s, a teenage girl, and the operator flipped over near Dryden at approximately 2:00 p.m. Both the male and female were ejected from the raft.

The female was able to climb back into the raft the male was not. A safety kayaker accompanying the raft attempted to assist the male to shore. Rescuer’s performed CPR on the male for over 30 minutes but were unable to revive him.

Both the male and female were wearing wet suits and personal flotation devices.

wsdot logoHYAK – The Washington State Department of Transportation and contractor crews will close I-90 at 7 p.m. for about an hour Thursday, May 5. During rock blasting closures eastbound drivers will be stopped at milepost 56 near Gold Creek and westbound drivers will be stopped at milepost 62 near the Stampede Pass interchange.

WSDOT provides a variety of tools to help plan your trip over Snoqualmie Pass:

ChelanFireRescueLogo200AGENDA
Chelan Fire and Rescue
Commissioners Regular Meeting
Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 4:00 P.M.
232 East Wapato, Chelan, WA

Proposed Chelan Fire and Rescue agenda pending Board approval.

Call to order:
Flag Salute:
Approve Agenda:
Public Comment:
Consent Agenda:
* Revenue and Expenditure Report: March 2016
* Payroll: $82,176.99 March 2016 Paid 04-05-2016
* Vouchers for General Account: Voucher #157 through #164 for $5,177.91; Voucher #165 through #178 for $6,331.44; Voucher #190 through #203 for $11,914.22; Vouchers #228 through #236 for $2897.65.
* Vouchers for Capital Account: Voucher #179 through #178 for $168.79; Voucher #204 and 205 for $937.51; Voucher #206 through 208 for $2,124.00.
* Minutes: March 9, 2016
Fire Chief Report:
* Personnel (Career/Volunteer)
* Facilities/Apparatus and Equipment
* Emergency Response Report
* Fire Prevention/Public Education
* Training
* Priorities and Objectives
* Budget Expense
Firefighters Association Report:
Unfinished Business:
* Community Communications Brochure
* Surplus Engine 79 (95502C) / Oregon Fire Service Museum Letter
* Ladder Truck Grant - Update
New Business:
* Summer Seasonal Firefighter
Special Event:
* 05/26/2016 Central Washington Large Fire Pre-Season Meeting Commissioner Jones will attend the one at Okanogan County Fairgrounds
* 05/26/16 Fire & Safety Expo 10 am – 3 pm – Station 73
* 06/02/2016 Central Washington Large Fire Pre-Season Meeting Chairman Peters will attend the one in Cle Elm at the Putman Event Center.
* 06/03/2016, Gordon Graham Seminar Community Gym all three Commissioner will be attending.
* 06/04/2016, Washington Fire Commissioner seminar at Campbell’s Resort all three Commissioners will be attending.
* 06/04/2016 Annual Pancake Feed – Station 71
* 06/06/16 and 06/07/16 NFPA Home Ignition Zone Training – Station 71
Executive Session:
Adjournment:

sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett reports on Saturday April 30th, shortly after 7:30 pm, Chelan County Deputies responded to a Wenatchee area home for a reported shooting. The reporting party said she and her brother were in the backyard at a neighboring house and her brother was struck in the face with debris from the gunshot. She also described several people fleeing a neighboring residence in a passenger vehicle.

Upon arrival Deputies located two victims at the neighboring residence. The two victims, both adult males, were attending a party and were sitting in the backyard when both were struck by pellets from a shotgun. One victim was taken to Central Washington Hospital where he was treated and released for pellet wounds to his face. The second victim was not transported and received a minor injury to his arm from being struck by shotgun pellets.

With help from Wenatchee Police Department, Deputies attempted to call out anyone inside the residence where the shotgun blast originated. No one responded. Not knowing whether someone inside the residence was injured, and as a community care taking function, Deputies and Officers entered into the residence. They did not locate any additional victims, but did discover a 20 gauge shotgun inside the residence and evidence of a shotgun blast traveling from the inside to the outside of the residence. The shotgun blast created a golf ball sized hole in the exterior of the residence in the direction of the neighboring property and Prom party.

Deputies contacted another neighbor who stated she was the caretaker of the abandoned residence. She attempted to remove some people who were no longer meeting their rental agreement requirements. There was an argument over property left inside the residence, and the caretaker stated one of the subjects broke into the abandoned residence, so she went to confront them with a shotgun. While inside the residence, she stated one of the subjects made an aggressive move towards her, so she fired one round from the shotgun. This was the one round that struck the two victims at the neighboring residence. The subjects the caretaker was talking to fled the scene prior to Deputies arrival and have not been located.

Chenoa Prather, a 33 year old female from Wenatchee, who identified herself as the caretaker, was booked into Chelan County Regional Justice Center for two counts of Reckless Endangerment for firing the one shotgun round and striking the unintended victims next door.

The investigation is ongoing and the Sheriff’s Office is attempting to locate the subject that fled.

wsdot logoCrews expect to open the highway in time for fishing season

WINTHROP – Crews expect to swing open the winter closure gates to State Route 20, the North Cascades Highway, at 11 a.m. Friday, April 22. That is a week earlier than predicted when the clearing work began on St. Patrick’s Day.

Washington State Department of Transportation crews began clearing the North Cascades Highway five weeks ago on March 17.

The mid-morning reopening allows the crew time to sweep the entire 37-mile winter closure zone for sand, rocks and debris, clear any snow from below avalanche chutes, and apply sand or deicer as needed.

By Wednesday the crews had cleared the last seven miles of highway separating at the end of week 4.  Warm temperatures sped the clearing and allowed for successful avalanche control to clear the chutes that still held snow so the highway can be safely opened.

“We all live up here and know it’s important for local businesses to have the highway open for the lowland fishing season and ‘49er Days Festival in Winthrop,” said Don Becker, WSDOT maintenance supervisor.

Last year it took crews only three weeks and it opened April 3. There was only one year, 1977, when the highway never closed, due to a drought.  The earliest opening was March 10, 2005.

For more information, including a history of opening and closing dates, maps, photos and progress reports on the 2016 opening, visit the North Cascades web page:

www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/passes/northcascades 

Most likely to succeed

wsdot logoMeetings scheduled in Ritzville, Moses Lake later this month

OLYMPIA –A request to increase speed limits on a roughly 100-mile stretch of Interstate 90 in eastern Washington is being considered and the Washington State Department of Transportation is asking for comments from interested citizens.

The proposed speed limit increase would be from the current 70 miles per hour to 75. The affected area is from the town of George, east to the western border of the Spokane County line.

A bill passed in the 2015 Legislature allows the Secretary of Transportation to increase the speed limit on any highway to a maximum 75 mph. Lawmakers in eastern Washington have asked Acting Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar to consider such an  increase on I-90. If an increase was approved, the limit would remain 60 mph for vehicles over 10,000 pounds or vehicles pulling trailers.

Since August, WSDOT has worked with the state Traffic Safety Commission and the Washington State Patrol to evaluate the I-90 request. The evaluation process included:

  • gathering information from other states that have raised speed limits
  • developing criteria to evaluate where and how speed limits might be raised
  • assessing the effects of an increase and identifying any needed highway feature modifications
  • examining how decisions about speed limit increases can take into account vehicle crash history, societal costs due to crashes, fuel costs and benefits associated with travel time savings.

Two meetings are scheduled later this month to provide information about the speed limit increase request and to take public comments. Comments can also be provided online.

Ritzville

4 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 19

Best Western Plus Bronco Inn, 105 W. Galbreath Way.

Moses Lake

11:30 a.m., Wednesday, April 20 – as part of a presentation to the Washington Transportation Commission

Moses Lake Civic Center, Council Chambers, 401 S. Balsam Street

Based on the results of the analysis, public comments and consultation with traffic safety partners, WSDOT will make a decision whether to raise the speed limit for this section of I-90. The decision is expected in May. If the limit is increased, it would become effective once new speed limit signs are posted.

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Regular Board Meeting
142 Pedoi St., Bumgarner Building, April 14th, 2016, 4:00pm
I. Call to Order
II. Flag Salute
III. Agenda Deletions and Additions
IV. Public Comment/Questions
V. Approval of Minutes
a. Minutes of the March 10th, 2016 Regular Meeting
VI. Financial Review
a. Review Monthly Financial Reports
b. Review and Approve Monthly Voucher
VII. Old Business
a. Director’s Report
b. Park Improvements
i. Downtown Waterfront Master Plan
ii. Willow Point
iii. Project Priorities
VIII. New Business
a. Resolution 2016-02
b. Old Mill Annual Passes
c. Link Agreement
IX. Adjournment
Next Regular Meeting: May 12th, 2016 at 4:00pm, 142 Pedoi St., Bumgarner Building

Recruit firefighters completed the weekend firefighter fundamentals class this weekend where they learned about breathing apparatus, basic hose handling, and basic ladder operations. Recruit classes will continue over the next two months covering a variety of firefighting subjects.

Great job to all the recruits and a special thanks to our instructors, officers and driver/operators. Captain Lee Jones, Lt. Hal Jones , FF/EMT Justin Thorpe, FF Jon Mendoza, D/O Brian Thompson.

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Pictured above from left to right: Back row Thomas Ramella, Tim McCord, DO Brain Thompson, Lt. Hal Jones, FF Jon Mendoza, Andy Gavin, Karl Koester, Lt. Eric Sanderson

Front lower row: Patrick Micheal, Steve Garvich, Kevin Cox, Alexander Volfe, FF Justin Thorpe.

Not in the picture: Ben Laughlin, Vladimir Stepanov, Seth Williams, Capt. Lee Jones.

ChelanFireRescueLogo200Chelan Fire and Rescue responded to a reported house fire at 926 Renn Terrance Drive in Chelan on 04/09/2016 around 0142 hours. Command 701, Engine 71, 73, Tender 71, Ladder71 responded on the first alarm, Command 5, Engine 52, Support 71 responded on the 2nd alarm. Engine 74, 72 moved up to the City of Chelan to provide coverage.

Engine 71 arrived to an exterior wall fire that had moved into the kitchen area of the residence with extension to the near-by brush and neighbors fence. Engine 71’s crew made an aggressive exterior attack knocking down the exterior fire and transitioning to the interior of the house knocking down the fire in the kitchen.

Fire was brought under control within 25 minute from the time it was reported. Chelan County Sheriff Deputies and Lake Chelan EMS units responded in support of the fire operations.

Fire is currently under investigation and appears to be a possible electrical/mechanical failure.

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sheriffsmAs the warm spring weather draws people to our local waters, The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone that our local waters can be dangerous this time of year. The water can be high, swift and cold as mountain snowpack melts, making hypothermia a real risk.

River users are encouraged to take safety precautions when recreating in rivers. Here are a few tips to stay safe:

  • Wear a PFD (personal flotation device).
  • Do not use alcohol or drugs when recreating on the river.
  • Watch children closely when they are on or near any type of water; stay close enough to reach them immediately.

When planning a boating or floating trip:

  • Always tell someone your route and when and where you plan to put in or take out.
  • Never float the river alone.
  • Bring a dry bag with food, water, and warm clothes.

Even the best water enthusiasts can misjudge changing water conditions when boating or swimming in open water. Be prepared at all times by wearing a life jacket – you never know when you’ll be tossed in the water.

sheriffsmOn March 31, 2016 the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Forest Service (USFS) arrested Roger E. Grissom, a 56 year old male from Wenatchee for illegally dumping tires on USFS land. A second suspect has been identified and a warrant for his arrest has been requested through the Chelan County Prosecutors Office.

The incident occurred on Sunday, March 13, 2016, when 98 tires were discovered dumped along Potato Creek on the Entiat District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Earlier that day a red Jeep Cherokee was observed driving up the Entiat River Rd. pulling a trailer loaded with tires.

The investigation relied heavily on help from the public after it was reported by local media and posted on social media. USFS Law Enforcement and Chelan County Deputies worked together to identify the suspects. The total dollar amount for the cleanup was $534 which included man hours and disposal.

USFS Officer Mike Kujala said, “It’s rare that we are able to identify suspects when garbage is dumped on public land. We would not have been able to make arrests in this case if it wasn’t for the public’s help.” Kujala reminds citizens that dumping trash is illegal on public lands and to call 9-1-1 if they see any suspicious activity.

wsdot logoState looks for information on viability of reinstating program

OLYMPIA – Washington produce growers could have another option for getting their goods to market, if there is sufficient demand to revitalize a rail-shipping program that was discontinued four years ago.

The Washington State Department of Transportation is seeking information from railroads and intermodal logistics companies to help determine if sufficient demand and expertise exists to revive a defunct state program that once supported a pool of refrigerated rail cars.

A request for information was released Wednesday, March 30, seeking proposals from parties interested in restoring the Washington Produce Rail Car program. The deadline for submissions is noon Monday, May 2.

Federal funding may be available to help support the program, and input from the freight community will help WSDOT determine if it will pursue such funding. “Both the number and quality of submissions is important to this process,” said WSDOT Freight Rail Policy & Program Manager Chris Herman. “We’ll be looking at the level of demand, as well as assessing the experience of each submitter in managing temperature-controlled fleets and meeting strict service requirements for perishable shipments.”

Designed to ensure a pool of temperature-controlled railcars was available to meet demand during peak growing and shipping season, the Produce Rail Car program originally launched in 2006 with federal and state funding. The program was suspended in 2012 when several privately-owned companies were expanding in the market. However, one of those competitors is no longer operating this service and WSDOT may be able to help fill the void if it proves to be economically viable.

The availability of temperature controlled rail or intermodal equipment is vital to transporting Washington-grown produce to markets beyond the state’s borders. According to Matt Harris of the Washington State Potato Commission, “Efficient movement of our perishable commodities is critical to the livelihood of potato growers in Washington state.”

wsdot logoDrivers should plan for periodic delays near construction zones

HYAK – It’s going to be a busy construction season on Interstate 90, as the Washington State Department of Transportation will start work in the next couple of weeks on a number of projects to improve sections of roadway from Snoqualmie Pass to Vantage.

A number of road-improvement projects will cause delays for drivers this spring and summer while WSDOT and contractor crews build, repair and paint bridges; add lanes; and replace deteriorating pavement.

“We have a lot of work east of Snoqualmie Pass this summer,” said Brian White, WSDOT South Central Region interim regional administrator. “Although we work closely with our contractors to minimize delays to drivers, I’d recommend adding some travel time if you’re trying to catch a flight or get to an appointment this summer.”


Next week, crews will start making repairs to the bridge over I-90 at the Stampede Pass interchange (exit 62). This work requires the overpass to be closed from April 4 to June 1. Drivers will experience nighttime, single-lane closures during the week and nighttime detours onto the on-and off-ramps Tuesday, April 5, through Thursday, April 7, while the contractor removes the existing bridge span.

In early April, crews will resume work to replace sections of the westbound lanes near Cle Elum. The westbound off-ramp to Oakes Avenue (exit 84) will be closed Monday through Friday throughout April. From mid-May until mid-June, it will be closed around the clock. During the off-ramp closure, drivers can access Cle Elum via the Peoh Road Bridge interchange at exit 85.

Work resumes in mid-April on the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East project that builds a wider, safer and more reliable stretch of I-90 from Hyak to Keechelus Damand from Keechelus Dam to the Stampede Pass interchange. In May, crews will resume rock-blasting closures. Drivers need to plan for hour-long closures Mondays through Thursdays, starting an hour before sunset.

In early May, crews will resume painting the Vantage Bridge to preserve the bridge’s structural integrity. Crews started repainting the bridge last year and will finish this fall. Eastbound drivers will experience delays due to around-the-clock, single-lane closures.

In June, crews will repave the eastbound lanes between mileposts 67 and 70 near Easton Hill, and the westbound lanes between mileposts 62 and 64 near Price Creek. Crews will also repave the eastbound and westbound lanes between mileposts 106 and 122 near Ellensburg. Drivers will experience delays due to single-lane closures through these work zones.

 

WSDOT has a wide variety of resources to help drivers plan their trips across I-90. Drivers can find information on multiple websites, including the What’s Happening on I-90, Snoqualmie Pass and traffic alerts pages. Drivers can also follow WSDOT on Twitter using the handles @snoqualmiepass and @wsdot_east or sign up for email updates.

wsdot logoPlan ahead to allow time to meet the deadline; avoid fines

OLYMPIA – With spring’s arrival, the Washington State Department of Transportation is reminding motorists that studded tires must be removed by the last day in March.

Under state law, driving with studded tires after Thursday, March 31, is a traffic infraction that could result in a $124 ticket from law enforcement.

In addition, studs can wear down pavement, so removing them promptly helps extend the lifetime of state roadways. Tire removal services can get crowded as the deadline approaches, so please plan accordingly.

WSDOT will not be extending the studded tire deadline this year, but crews will continue to monitor roads, passes and forecasts and work to clear any late season snow or ice. Travelers are always reminded to “know before you go” by checking road conditions before heading out and staying on top of conditions with WSDOT’s social media and email alert tools.

Washington and Oregon share the same studded tire removal date. Other states may have later deadlines, but the Washington law applies to all drivers in the state, even visitors. No personal exemptions or waivers are issued.

More information about studded tire regulations in Washington is available online.

wash traffic commissionOLYMPIA – There’s good news for drivers who use the State Route 16 Tacoma Narrows Bridge. The Washington State Transportation Commission recently voted to suspend a planned 50-cent toll rate increase on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, scheduled to take effect July 1, 2016.

The largest annual cost for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is the debt service payment. The law requires debt service payments, along with other costs like maintenance, operations and insurance, be paid with toll revenues. The 30-year debt service schedule has payments going up every one or two years. Historically, traffic volumes have not increased at the pace necessary to meet these growing debt obligations. As a result, since July 2012, bridge users have experienced annual toll increases. 

But some toll relief has arrived this year. The Washington State Legislature provided $2.5 million in gas tax revenues to pay for the bridge’s debt service payments coming due between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017. This means the 50-cent toll increase planned for this July is no longer needed thanks to the state’s investment. Toll rates are now scheduled to remain at current levels through June 30, 2017.

WSTC’s Chairman Anne Haley was pleased with the Legislature’s decision to provide funding for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge debt service payments. “This investment made by the Legislature brings a much needed break to the annual toll rate increases on the bridge. The commission is committed to working with Legislative leaders, the TNB Citizen Advisory Committee, and the Washington State Department of Transportation to determine long-term options that may bring toll rate stability to the drivers of this bridge,” said Haley.

The commission will hold a final hearing to reflect in the administrative code the rate suspension decision. The hearing will start 1 p.m. May 17, at WSDOT’s headquarters building, 310 Maple Park Ave SE, in Olympia.

To learn more about the commission, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/

wash traffic commissionOLYMPIA - The Washington State Transportation Commission chose “Suquamish” as the name of the state’s fourth Olympic-class ferry at its meeting Wednesday, March 16.

The selection follows a public process in which the commission considered three eligible names – Cowlitz, Sammamish, and Suquamish – and sought input from Washington State Ferries, the Ferry Advisory Committee Executive Council, ferry riders and the general public.

“The Suquamish have a rich cultural and maritime history in the Salish Sea with their ancestral heartland encompassing the north end of Hood Canal and the Olympic Peninsula to Indian Island, the Kitsap Peninsula, and both sides of Admiralty Inlet to the Tacoma Narrows in the south,” said Commission Chairman Anne Haley. “It is fitting to name this vessel Suquamish since nearly all the contemporary Washington State Ferry System routes traverse historically documented Suquamish canoe travel corridors.”

The commission has guidelines that help determine the eligibility of a name proposal:

  • Names for ferries should carry statewide significance and represent our state’s image and culture.
  • Specifically, names should represent such things as: state adopted symbols, tribal names, names of bodies of water, geographic locations, cities, counties, relate to nautical heritage, etc.
  • Consideration will be given to the consistency with existing Washington State Ferries fleet names.
  • Names should have broad familiarity, are non‐offensive, and meet ethical standards.
  • Names with commercial overtones or names honoring or commemorating individuals should be avoided, but will be considered upon very careful review.

Many of the 23 vessels in Washington State Ferries’ fleet have names reflecting the state’s tribal, geographic and historic heritage. The most recently named vessels – Chimacum, Samish and Tokitae – are in keeping with that tradition. 

For more information on the Transportation Commission, visit its website:  www.wstc.wa.gov