Nisqually a sticking point for the state

December 19th, 2017 by Ken

The Amtrak derailment is the perfect example of how vulnerable to disruption the economy of Washington has become.

The death and injuries is a tragedy, but it signals to state officials  how delicate the transportation system of our state has become.   Yesterday I drove over the Marvin Road bridge and took a look at the freeway below.   There wasn’t a single vehicle on the freeway going south and very few traveling north.   I wanted to walk down and stand in the middle of the road and contemplate the whole idea.

For years I’ve been talking about the vulnerability of Interstate Five.   If something were to happen to the Nisqually River bridges, the economy of the Seattle metro area would be severely impacted.   No where else on the entire I-5 system is there such a concern.   For most of its length, Old 99 runs parallel to I-5 – providing an alternative.   The exception is at the Nisqually River basin.   There, I-5 and 99 meet.

It happens in other areas of the state, but alternative means exist.  At the Nisqually River there is no  significant alternative.

The original plans for the Interstate Highway system through Western Washington, called for I-5 to branch off at Yelm and cross the Nisqually River near Puyallup.  Powers in the state house forced I-5 to go through Olympia – thus creating the situation we have today.

Terrorists need only blow up the bridges and the economy of the state would suffer.   The Amtrak derailment and the chaos it created in our transportation system was just a warning.   A better alternative method of crossing the river should be under consideration before the whole mess comes down.

Posted in Business, Government, History, Informational, The Real News

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