Plan ahead now for smoother Memorial Day travel
- Written by Barbara LaBoe, WSDOT communications
‘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:
- The State Route 520 bridge toll will be on holiday rates
- The Interstate 405 express toll lanes will be free and open to all drivers
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.
- Reservations can be made
- Visit the schedules and best travel times website or call 888-808-7977 for more details.
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.
State officials will not raise I-90 speed limit in eastern Washington
- Written by Al Gilson, WSDOT communications
Risks 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.
State Transportation Commission to adopt toll rates, name portions of state highways
- Written by Reema Griffith, WSTC executive director
OLYMPIA – 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/
Fatal Fall At "Bob's Wall" Near Icicle Drainage
- Written by Sergeant Kent Sisson, CCSO
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.
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.
Manson Parks Regular Board Meeting 5-12-16
- Written by Wai Peterson
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
Next Regular Meeting: June 9th, 2016 at 4:00pm, 142 Pedoi St., Bumgarner Building
Climber injured in Fall at Snow Creek Wall
- Written by Sergeant Kent Sisson, CCSO
Sheriff 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.
Rafting Fatality Near Dryden
- Written by Chief Dave Helvey, CCSO
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.
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.
Rock blasting to close Snoqualmie Pass for an hour Thursday
- Written by Meagan Lott, WSDOT
HYAK – 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:
- Sign up for email updates.
- Snoqualmie Mountain Pass Web page for real-time travel information and to view traffic cameras.
- Check the weekly Construction Updates and Traffic pages for region-wide updates.
- Tune into the Highway Advisory Radio at 1610 AM and 530 AM.
- Follow us on Twitter @snoqualmiepass.
- Call the I-90 construction hotline at 888-535-0738 or 511.
Chelan Fire and Rescue Commissioners Regular Meeting Agenda 5-11-16
- Written by Carol A. Kibler, CFR
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:
* 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
* Priorities and Objectives
* Budget Expense
Firefighters Association Report:
* Community Communications Brochure
* Surplus Engine 79 (95502C) / Oregon Fire Service Museum Letter
* Ladder Truck Grant - Update
* Summer Seasonal Firefighter
* 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
Shotgun Blast Injures Unintended Victims
- Written by Janalyn Brincat
Sheriff 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.
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