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March 2012

From the Regional Administrator
Keith Metcalf 

Welcome to our March 2012 newsletter. This month we talk about construction of the new Keller Ferry vessel, a grant application for additional NSC funding, and thanks for a job well done.

If you have any questions on items in this newsletter, or other transportation issues, please let me know. Give me a call at (509) 324-6010 or drop me an e-mail at metcalk@wsdot.wa.gov .

Keith Metcalf
Regional Administrator
509-324-6010
metcalk@wsdot.wa.gov

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Construction begins on replacement Keller Ferry vessel

Construction of the new Keller Ferry vessel began on Wednesday, March 28th. Foss Maritime of Seattle is the contractor of the new boat. Work on the aluminum hull got underway at their shipyard in Rainier, Oregon, just across the Columbia River from Longview, WA. The hull and superstructure will be built in several sections at the shipyard, then transported to Grand Coulee, WA via truck. It’s expected that the sections will be moved sometime this fall. Final assembly will take place at Crescent Bay on Lake Roosevelt with the launch planned for May, 2013.

Over 75 people attended the keel-laying of the new vessel at the Foss facility in Rainier, Oregon on the 28th. Secretary of Transportation, Paula Hammond performed the ceremonial “first weld” on the vessel keel. On hand was Keller District Councilmember Sylvia Peasley, representing the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and Representative Ann Rivers of the Washington 18th District. In addition, Gary Faber, President of Foss Maritime recognized his entire team from the Rainer Shipyard that was in attendance—nearly 50 highly skilled crafts people that will build the new vessel.

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NSC grant application headed for Washington, DC

A new round of federal Transportation Investments Generating Economic Growth (TIGER) grants was recently announced and the North Spokane Corridor was selected as one of three projects submitted by the WSDOT. The project submitted is the realignment of about 7.5 miles of BNSF Railway mainline and spur tracks plus building two NSC freeway bridges, two pedestrian bridges, and an additional mile of pedestrian/bike trail. The Department requested $18.9 million towards the $31.5 million project. The work will enable continued construction of the NSC corridor between the Francis/Freya interchange and the Spokane River. There is $500 million available nationwide to be awarded to projects in this round.

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Kudos from our customers

It’s always especially pleasing when we receive a note like this from a satisfied customer:

Hello,

Yesterday afternoon (12/9) our daughter broke down heading home in her Chevy Tahoe on I-90 west bound at exit 282 B in Spokane. Unfortunately, she was slightly blocking traffic, and it was about 3:45 PM, but her vehicle was dead.

One of your "agents" came along and got her pushed off the freeway and out of harms way. He gave her great advice about keeping her doors locked and only rolling her window down for an officer, or himself until we arrived on the scene. He also told her he would check back with her every few minutes.

I would just like to acknowledge that this is an amazing service, and this individual was outstanding. I cannot say how much I appreciate him watching out for her.

With gratitude,
Terina Adams

The agent she referenced was Rick Sherman, a member of our Incident Response Team (IRT). The IRT patrols I-90 in the urban Spokane area and renders assistance to motorists and keeps traffic moving during incidents. Our thanks go to Rick for a job well done.