OLYMPIA – Transportation challenges and priorities for residents, businesses and visitors to Okanogan County and the Colville Reservation will be the focus of a two-day visit by the Washington State Transportation Commission to Okanogan County next week. Officials from Okanogan County and its cities, the Colville Tribe, transit providers and other community leaders will participate as part of the commission’s statewide public outreach effort.
During its two-day tour, the commission also will meet with local leaders in Twisp on Tuesday, May 14, and in Omak on Wednesday, May 15, to learn more about local needs and efforts to improve transportation and safety. The meeting in Twisp will start at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Building 9, TwispWorks, 502 S. Glover. The meeting in Omak will take place from 8:30 to 11:10 a.m. Wednesday at Omak City Hall, 2 North Ash St. The meetings are open to the public and persons wishing to speak to the commission may do so during the public comment period scheduled at the close of each meeting.
The meetings feature a series of short presentations on successes and challenges, future plans and needs for transportation in the Okanogan region. Topics include city streets, county and tribal roads, state highways, rail and air transportation, and public transportation. Commissioners will learn about the connections between economic development, tourism, and transportation in the Methow Valley, and cross-border traffic with Canada on US 97. Several presenters, including representatives of Okanogan County will talk about how recent wildfires, floods and landslides have exposed vulnerabilities in the state and local road system, and the decision to identify a primitive road network for disaster response and evacuation.
On May 14, the commission will tour bridges on State Route 153, sites on SR 20 near Loup Loup pass where landslides have recently occurred, a proposed wildlife crossing on US 97, and see causes of flooding problems on the main street in Tonasket.
On May 15, following the meeting in Omak, commissioners will meet with leaders of the Colville Tribe and tour the road system on the reservation.
The Washington State Transportation Commission holds several meetings throughout the state each year to gain insight from local government, industry and citizens about transportation issues that affect their communities and region. This information helps the commission to develop and implement transportation policies and recommendations that reflect the priorities of the people and local governments of the State of Washington. In meetings later this year, the commission will visit Bremerton, Federal Way, and Skamania County.
For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/