Spokane Valley Online
The Spokane Valley News Herald
City of Spokane Valley, WA
Public’s help needed to get eastern Washington rail system on track

10/31/2014

By MIKE HUFFMAN
Managing Editor

 

State-owned rail lines are critical components of Washington’s multi-modal transportation system. As part of an ongoing effort to improve the movement of goods produced on Northwest farms, officials from across the state are calling on eastern Washington citizens, businesses and communities to help make them better.
The Washington state Department of Transportation will seek the insights of farmers, rail-industry experts, regular citizens and anyone in between at three planning workshops this fall. WSDOT will host the workshops in Spokane, Ephrata and Clarkston.
Among others, WSDOT hopes to explore two important questions at the workshops:

  • What improvements are needed on state-owned rail lines in eastern Washington to enhance farm-to-market commodity movement?
  • What operational changes can be made to improve the value of these rail lines to eastern Washington shippers and producers?

WSDOT planning staff will consider infrastructural and operational challenges as they develop the Palouse River and Coulee City Rail System Strategic Plan for the system. The strategic plan will be developed in partnership with the PCC Rail Authority.
“Our planning staff needs your ideas and help to get our rail systems on track,” said Barbara Ivanov, director of WSDOT’s freight systems division. “Please plan on attending one of these meetings.”
The local meeting will be held Thursday, Nov. 13, at:
Spokane Regional Transportation Council
221 W. First St., Suite 310, Spokane
2:30 – 4 p.m.
The 297-mile PCC rail line consists of three branch lines that carry freight through four eastern Washington counties. Shippers in Spokane, Lincoln, Grant and Whitman counties distribute commodities across the rail system to and from the hubs of cross-country railroads. Last year, the PCC rail system carried 20 percent of state-grown wheat, while reducing 37,000 truckloads from Washington state roadways.
Accommodation requests for people with disabilities can be made by contacting the WSDOT Diversity/ADA Affairs team or by calling toll-free, 855-362-4ADA (232). Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may make a request by calling the Washington State Relay at 7-1-1.

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Steve Barge
Account executive - Spokane Valley News Herald
Cell: 509-230-3355
Office: 509-924-2440
e-mail: vnh@onemain.com
TheSpokane Valley News Herald
is the City of Spokane Valley, Washington's official Newspaper. The City Council of the City of Spokane Valley, Washington named the Spokane Valley News Herald as the city's "official" newspaper. The designation means the Spokane Valley News Herald will publish the city's legal notices on a contract basis for one year.

E-mail: vnh@onemain.com
Phone: (509) 924-2440
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