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Wire thieves create dangerous situation at I-5 off-ramp

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Nov. 13, 2007 at 8:23 am with No Comments »
November 13, 2007 8:23 am

Thieves cut the wire to a traffic signal and lights at Bridgeport Way just off Interstate 5 on Sunday night, creating a dangerous situation.


The theft occurred around 9:50 p.m., the state Department of Transportation reported.


State transportation crews put in temporary connections and got the traffic signal up. They will need to return at a later date to make a more permanent fix.


This is just the latest case of wire theft in the region. Law enforcement officers have said drug addicts are behind most of the thievery. The thieves resell the stolen wire and aluminum for cash for meth.


The state Department of Transportation has had steel bridge railings, guardrails, signal boxes and impact attenuators stolen. The department is working with the Washington State Patrol to hault the activity.


Transportation officials ask drivers who spot suspicious work zones to call their local law enforcement agency. Anyone who spotted suspicious activity Sunday night that prompted the power outage on Bridgeport is asked to call the State Patrol.


The transportation department describes a legitimate work zone as:


* signs alerting you that you are approaching a work zone


* proper lighting


* orange cones, barriers, signs, etc.


* workers/flaggers wearing orange, reflective vests, hard hats, goggles and gloves


* vehicles with either, exempt license plates and the WSDOT logo or clearly marked with contractor name.


* Weekly, WSDOT posts on its Website construction and maintenance operations. If it’s a state-owned roadway, the work will be listed at www.wsdot.wa.gov/construction/

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