transportation

Alaskan Way Viaduct
5:32 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Still No Answers For Stuck Bertha

Washington Department of Transportation's Matt Preedy points out the new roadway that will lead into the tunnel.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

So far, crews trying to determine what’s stalling the State Route 99 tunnel machine have found a hard object more than three feet wide lodged in it.

They’ve also found metal and plastic piping. But what exactly is causing the stoppage is still unknown.

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Alaskan Way Viaduct
4:34 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

What's In A Name? Apparently, Forgiveness For Bertha

Bertha, the world’s biggest tunnel boring machine, has been stuck under Seattle since Dec. 6, 2013.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT

She loves dirt and hates sunlight. Seattle Magazine named her one of 2013’s most influential people, except she’s not really a person. She’s Bertha, the world’s biggest tunnel boring machine, charged with digging out the replacement path for the Alaskan Way Viaduct under Seattle.

Her profile on the Washington State Department of Transportation site lists her occupation as a tunneling specialist, but right now she’s stuck and has been since December 6. In light of her current predicament, the decision to name the machine, and thus humanize it, could be a shrewd move.

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Transportation
3:12 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

The Woes Of Funding Public Transit

King County Metro Transit is facing a 17 percent cut to service.
Flickr Photo/clappstar (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Rob Johnson, the executive director of Transportation Choices, about how cities deal with transit funding woes.

EarthFix Reports
9:27 am
Thu January 23, 2014

New Legislation Calls For Transparency On Oil Moving Through Washington

With more oil moving through Washington by train and other transportation modes, state lawmakers want oil companies to keep environmental regulators better informed.
Katie Campbell

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 7:26 pm

SEATTLE -- Washington lawmakers took up a proposal Wednesday to require more transparency from companies that transport oil through the state.

The hearing on House Bill 2347 played out before a packed committee room in Olympia. The new bill would require oil companies to file weekly reports with the state Department of Ecology detailing how much oil is being transported, what kind of oil it is, how it’s being moved and what route it’s traveling through the state.

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The Week In Review
1:45 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Inslee's State Of The State, Legislative Session Kicks Off, And Machinists Union President Retires

Tom Wroblewski, pictured in 2012, has stepped down as president of the local Machinists union. His last day is Jan. 31.
Photo IAM District 751

Washington Governor Jay Inslee pushed for a higher minimum wage and increased education funding during his State of the State Address this week. The state legislature kicked off its 2014 session. Also, Boeing Machinists Union President Tom Wroblewski announced his retirement.

We review these stories and more with news analyst Joni Balter, Crosscut's Knute Berger and The Stranger's Eli Sanders. Plus, we hear from Live Wire host Luke Burbank.

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Transportation
4:31 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

King County Executive Constantine's Plan B For Metro

King County Executive Dow Constantine is calling for a plan B – an April 22nd vote by King County voters to raise the money to prevent cuts to King County Metro Transit.
Flickr Photo/Oran Viriyincy

Ross Reynolds talks with King County Executive Dow Constantine about his plan to fund King County Metro Transit, separate from the state legislature's transportation package — a package that has yet to get off the ground.

Transportation
11:38 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Workers To Descend Into Blocked Bertha In A Pressurized Bubble

A Seattle Tunnel Partners crew works on one of the tanks holding soil conditioner being used to seal an underground air bubble.
Credit KUOW Photo/John Ryan

To get Bertha moving again, state officials announced Wednesday that they are sending in human reinforcements – in a giant, pressurized bubble.

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Transportation
10:25 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Balter: Transportation Package Not Likely This Year

Washington state legislators have said for a couple of years now that passing a transportation package is among their top priorities. But Joni Balter, a longtime Seattle news analyst, told KUOW’s Bill Radke that won’t likely happen this year.

Politics
4:04 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

The State Of Our State With Governor Inslee

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee.
Jay Inslee's Facebook page.

Ross Reynolds talks with Governor Jay Inslee about his priorities for the year. The governor also takes questions from our listeners.

EarthFix Reports
9:16 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Can Bikes And Orchards Coexist?

Jan Dappen rides along Wenatchee's Apple Capital Recreation Loop. The success of this loop encouraged cyclists to try to designate a more ambitious route from Wenatchee to Leavenworth. Local orchardists are fighting the designation.
WenatcheeOutdoors.org http://www.WenatcheeOutdoors.org/

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 1:00 am

The valley between Wenatchee and Leavenworth, Wash., is known for its fruit orchards. Apple, pear, and cherry trees line the county roads. In the springtime, blossomed branches reach out from tidy orchard rows.

You can glimpse the orchards from U.S. Highway 2, the most direct route between the two cities. But the most scenic way winds along 48 miles of county roads, up and down hills and across the Wenatchee River.

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Transportation
8:51 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Oregon Lawmakers Want More Answers On I-5 Bridge Plan

An artist's rendition of the proposed 1-5 bridge over the Columbia River.
Columbia River Crossing

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:30 pm

Oregon lawmakers say they want more answers before they'll agree to proceed with a plan to build a new I-5 bridge across the Columbia River.

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Aerospace
10:57 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Battery Smokes – Again

After nearly a year of no problems with its batteries, a Boeing 787 battery started smoking on Tuesday.
Credit Boeing Photo

Japan Airlines has yet again grounded one of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets after the plane's lithium ion battery started smoking.

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EarthFix Analysis
6:00 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Few Railcars Carrying Flammable Oil Get Inspected

A small percentage of trains carrying hazardous materials are inspected as they move through Oregon and Washington. Safety advocates and legislators are more concerned about what federal regulations allow than the fewer than 1 percent of cars found with safety violations.
Credit Flickr Photo/Russ Allison

As we researched a recent story about train shipments of oil, we asked Washington and Oregon officials: How many of the trains coming through the Northwest are inspected?

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Transportation
8:56 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Oregon's Treasurer Casts Doubt On I-5 Bridge Tolling Plan

An artist's rendition of the proposed 1-5 bridge over the Columbia River.
Columbia River Crossing

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 3:36 pm

Oregon's state treasurer says he won't approve bonds for a new I-5 bridge across the Columbia River without a guarantee: that Oregon can collect tolls from Washington drivers.

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Transportation
2:44 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

More Pathways Needed To Cross The Ship Canal

The Ship Canal Bridge with downtown Seattle in the background.
Flickr Photo/Seattle Munincipal Archives

Marcie Sillman talks with Ben Schiendelman about the growing need for increased transportation across the Lake Washington ship canal.

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