Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: wsdot

May
21st

TRAFFIC: Voters stripped funding from roads

Re: “No relief in sight on region’s highways” (letter, 5-21).

State highway officials do plan 20 years into the future. Twenty years ago, the plan was to have completed all of the projects currently underway and many more by now. Then state voters stripped all the funding (Initiative 695), and everything crashed to a halt.

Don’t blame the state Department of Transportation; ask each other why people with expensive cars couldn’t afford to pay a few bucks a month for a transportation system.

Now we’re looking at higher and higher gas taxes to make up for it, and we’re left

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March
16th

CONTRACTS: Low bidder might not be the best

The tunnel bore in Seattle is a good example of why low-bid contacts, even negotiated ones, do not serve the public well.

Public works contracts are typically awarded on a low-bid basis as long as they meet qualifications and specs. Major high-risk projects involve meeting many requirements that are not necessarily easily identified. When a low-bid contract is let, all of these unidentified problems are only outlined superficially throughout the items within the bid and may be paid for through negotiated changed conditions.

Low-bid contractors will try to protect themselves through high item cost rather than spending the time trying to

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Nov.
14th

TOLLS: WSDOT could use tried-and-true strategy

I see that the  Washington State Department of Transportation has sent out Interstate 90 toll surveys to Mercer Island residents.

I live in Gig Harbor and daily pay a toll to cross the  Narrows Bridge. When building a new Narrows bridge was put to a vote in Pierce County, it could not get the majority vote to pass. So the DOT solution was to expand the voting area to include King County. They finally got the majority needed to construct the bridge.

Now DOT is having difficulty getting approval for a new state Route 520 floating bridge in King County.

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Sep.
20th

ELECTION: Councilman supports Nathan Schlicher

During my 16 years on the Gig Harbor City Council, I’ve had the chance to work with an impressive group of legislators representing the 26th District from both sides of the aisle. Over the last year, I’ve been particularly impressed by state Sen. Nathan Schlicher.

Schlicher’s appointment came after a lengthy process that didn’t see him seated until session had already begun, but he immediately hit the ground running. An ER physician by trade, he brought a wealth of knowledge on health care issues.

Coming from local and regional government though, my focus tends to be on transportation and economic

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July
18th

WEEDS: Remove and dispose of Scotch broom

Re: “Fruitful partnership between KP Lions and Park District continues” (newstribune.com, 7-10).

I am a member of a new group (Washington Scotch Broom Working Group) formed July 9 dedicated to the control and eradication of Scotch broom in Washington, particularly western Washington. It includes representatives from several county weed boards, tribal natural resource departments and environmental groups. We are working closely with the state’s Noxious Weed Control Board and Department of Transportation.

The article  included the statement that “it is prohibited to transport, buy, sell, offer for sale or distribute in plants, plant part or seed from.” The statement

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June
3rd

MCMILLIN BRIDGE: Find a way to preserve historic structure

I have been reading about the efforts to save the unique historic McMillin Bridge (TNT, 5-31). I would hope the Washington State Department of Transportation could figure out it is worthwhile to save unique historic structures.

The bridge on state Route 162 to Orting looks like it would stand a long time without needing any unusual expensive maintenance, as WSDOT claims. The river has been flowing under the bridge for 78 years now, and I think the high water gets by just fine. The $500,000 budgeted for tearing down the bridge could be put into a trust fund to

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May
24th

BRIDGE: Another disaster for state government

So the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River has collapsed. This event signals another expensive failure of a Washington state agency, one in a litany of failures over the past decade: Department of Corrections, DSHS, Transportation and others.

Something is wrong when so many costly failures (in millions of dollars and lives damaged or lost) keep occurring. Most recently WSDOT failed to properly design pontoons for the state Route 520 bridge. Why?

And there’s more: it’s time for Tim Eyman to go away. And time for the citizens of this state to realize that there is no free lunch.

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Jan.
11th

ROADS: Best solution is a gas tax increase

Re: “State considers taxing driver by the mile” (TNT, 1-10)

Why a committee of transportation experts and state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond are spending time looking for an alternative to the present gas tax for revenue is a sign of how wasteful government can be.

They say our present system, based upon a fixed amount of tax per gallon of gas, is not providing sufficient revenue, and as fuel economy increases, will be further reduced.

Instead of simply increasing the gas tax, they want to create a completely new system.

Any concern for the future, when more cars will

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