Spokesman-Review Letters To The Editor
Highway plan doesn’t rock
A few years ago I drove by the construction area of the North-South Corridor near the base of Mount St. Michaels. There were mountains of beautiful granite rock that had been excavated from that area. I called the Department of Transportation office, suggesting that the granite be incorporated into the design aspects of the freeway. It has always been my understanding that freeways were required to incorporate materials and vegetation into the design that are native to the area.
Recently I drove that new segment, expecting to see the inclusion of that beautiful rock in the design. Absolutely none! I was outraged! But then I realized that that is not the way government operates. They most generally pay millions of dollars to private enterprise for materials.
I also noticed three other vehicles on the entire stretch during the rush hour. What a bust! We wait nearly five decades for relief from all the interstate traffic passing through our neighborhoods and this is what we get. A freeway built in reverse that serves hardly anyone.
Instead of a ribbon-cutting ceremony and all the plaudits, we should have had a tomato toss.
Where to start? Okay, you can’t just use thousands of tons of granite to build a freeway. There are certain materials you have to use, mixed just right, to make sure your freeway doesn’t fall apart when the first car drives over it. True, the granite could have been used in a decorative way but how much granite can you decorate with? As for the lack of cars on the NSC, I’ve mentioned that before. At this point, the NSC is three miles long. That’s not enough roadway to be a timesaver for most drivers. That will change when the next section opens in 2011. Harold White of the WSDOT was in our office last week for the monthly Transportation Technical Committee meeting and said things are slow out there, but they were expecting that. This is just the first step in the bigger picture.