The Department of Transportation plans to shift eastbound
traffic onto a newly built temporary bridge as soon as Thursday
night. To prepare for the change, crews will close eastbound
Highway 16 at Union Avenue during night hours.
On Wednesday and Thursday, all eastbound lanes will close from
11 p.m. until 4 a.m. the following morning. Traffic will be
diverted onto the Union Avenue exit. On Saturday, the lanes will
close from 12:30 a.m. to 6 a.m., again using the Union Avenue
This is all dependent upon having dry enough weather to do the
More than 102,000 motorists travel through the Nalley Valley
A new online survey invites Washington citizens to share their
ideas about the state’s transportation priorities and how to pay
In January, the Legislature and governor will be faced with tough
choices on how to meet the state’s growing transportation needs.
It’s believed that changing driving habits, increased
fuel-efficiency and more electric cars will make the gas tax an
unsustainable transportation revenue source for the long-term.
To help decision makers, the Washington State Transportation
Commission launched a statewide survey seeking public opinion about
transportation funding and investment priorities. Washington
residents who sign up for the Voice of Washington State (VOWS)
survey panel will receive an email inviting them to take an online
survey. The results will be reported to the governor and
Legislature at the start of the 2013 session.
The VOWS survey panel currently has more than 18,000 members and
continues to grow. Sign up at www.voiceofwashingtonsurvey.org
by Dec. 17. Throughout the coming year, members of the survey
panel will be invited to participate in online surveys on a variety
of transportation topics.
For more information on the VOWS program or WSTC, call (360)
705-7070, email email@example.com or visit www.wstc.wa.gov .
The Coast Guard has or soon will increase manpower on almost all
Washington State Ferries to provide adequate staffing during
emergencies such as fire or evacuation. In a novel move, however,
it’s allowing Washington State Ferries to adjust staffing according
to passenger count.
For example, on the four Super-class ferries, crews will remain at
14 members, but they’ll add a more expensive licensed mate at the
expense of an ordinary seaman. However, when there are fewer than
450 passengers, the boats can sail without one of three ordinary
seamen. If there are fewer than 300 passengers, it can drop two.
The determining factor is having a crew member to launch each
necessary 150-person lifeboat. If there were fewer than 300 people
riding the ferry, only two lifeboats would need to be launched
during evacuation. Also, the top deck would be chained off so it
wouldn’t need to have deck sweeps.
Ferries director David Moseley had asked the Coast Guard to extend
the deadline for making the Super-class changes from Nov. 26 until
spring, citing a shortage of licensed mates. The Coast Guard denied
the request, it said Friday, because of WSF’s new ability to
short-staff for fewer passengers and the Walla Walla is broken at
least until spring, freeing up more licensed mates.
The Coast Guard allowed WSF to cut one deck hand from the crews of
its two Jumbo-class ferries on June 17, but ordered them restored
by Nov. 26, which WSF has done.
It did the same for the five 124-car Issaquah-class boats, but it’s
not only requiring those positions to be restored but another
ordinary seaman added, pushing the crews from 10 to 12 people. If
they’re assigned to routes that are close to firefighting resources
— Mukilteo-Clinton, Fauntleroy-Vashon Island-Southworth and Point
Defiance-Tahlequah — and carrying fewer than 300 passengers, they
can drop an ordinary seaman.
The three Evergreen State-class ferries must also bring back the
deck hand they lopped in June, moving from 10 to 11 crew members,
but can run with 10 in the situations described above.
The changes are supposed to take effect when WSF receives the
updated certificates of inspection from the Coast Guard. They’re
still discussing manning levels for the three Kwa-di Tabil 64-car
ferries. it’s expected to be completed by Dec. 30.
Regarding sailing short with fewer passengers, WSF already has
quite a bit of ridership data and is counting riders this week to
verify the historical numbers.
“Then we’ll see how much we can take advantage f variable staffing,
if at all,” said Moseley.
WSF is also crunching the numbers to see how much the larger crews
will cost. Even before it the changes, it was asked to propose a $5
million cut from its budget for 2013-15. The proposal included
service cuts, including a couple round trips between Bremerton and