Transportation

This county road between Maple Valley and Issaquah may not look like a major traffic corridor. But come rush hour, it's bumper to bumper on county roads like this as commuters seek out alternate routes to shave precious minutes off grueling commutes.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

 

In East King County, a critical piece of infrastructure is falling apart: the county road system. That's 1,500 miles of mostly two-lane roads. Stretched out, they would reach from Canada to Mexico. There’s no money to repair them properly. So the county’s going to have to lower the speed limits and eventually shut some of them down.

There's money in a state highway budget that passed the Washington House Thursday to study a one-of-a-kind possible toll bridge fashioned out of retired Navy aircraft carriers.

Washington drivers might get to drive 75 on some rural highways.

For the third year in a row, railroad workers in Washington have been dealt a defeat in the legislature.

A proposal to make it illegal to hold a cell phone while driving has died in the Washington House. The measure failed to get a vote before a key deadline Tuesday.

The Swinomish Tribe has filed a lawsuit against BNSF Railway to stop oil trains from traveling through its reservation.

BNSF train tracks cross the top of the Swinomish Reservation in Skagit County. In recent years they’ve been used to move oil from North Dakota to two refineries in Anacortes.

Rural Oregon lawmakers say they want to get "up to speed" with neighboring states.

Updated at 9:35 a.m. ET

In late January, Louis Jordan sailed away from the South Carolina coast aboard his 35-foot sailboat. More than two months later, almost given up for dead, he was rescued 200 miles off Cape Hatteras.

In 66 days at sea, Jordan survived by catching fish and drinking rainwater, he told his rescuers after being spotted by and taken aboard the German-flagged container ship Houston Express.

Ross Reynolds talks to Vancouver journalist Frances Bula about the Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax on the ballot for residents of British Columbia.

The ferry Tacoma, undergoing tests before going back into service. "Needs a paint job" observed Lynne Griffith, the ferries chief.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

The ferry Tacoma returned to service last weekend, ending an eight-month hiatus in the repair shop.

Last July, the ferry suffered a power failure and went adrift on the Seattle-to-Bainbridge Island route. Its loss created a cascade of service failures, showing the stress in the state’s ferry system.

The hole built to rescue Bertha, the deep boring machine.
WSDOT webcam

Engineers have removed the cutter head from the enormous tunneling machine nicknamed Bertha. The malfunctioning part had been stuck for more than a year in a highway project under Seattle's downtown.

Flickr Photo/WSDOT

KUOW's Ross Reynolds speaks with Jon Talton, Seattle Times economics columnist,  about the local consequences of the United States lagging behind other countries on infrastructure investment.

Updated at 10:05 a.m. ET.

Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of the Germanwings plane that crashed in the French Alps last week with 150 passengers on board, received treatment for suicidal tendencies for several years before he became a pilot, a German prosecutor says.

Christoph Kumpa, a spokesman for Duesseldorf investigators, says Lubitz "had been in treatment of a psychotherapist because of what is documented as being suicidal at that time."

Updated at 11:05 a.m. ET

The co-pilot who deliberately downed an airliner over the French Alps this week, killing all 150 aboard, had told a girlfriend sometime last year that he would "do something" that would make people remember his name, a German newspaper reports.

The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into the French Alps earlier this week appears to have been a deliberate act carried out by a co-pilot.

It is too soon to put the label "suicide" on the co-pilot's actions. Not enough is known yet about his state of mind or what his motivation might have been. But as investigations continue, the incident raises questions about whether better mental health screening can prevent a person with suicidal tendencies from taking charge in the cockpit in the first place.

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