Public meeting held on Plain bridge closure

Plain bridge

The Director and Assistant Director of the Chelan County Department of  Public Works and County Commissioner Keith Goehner hosted a public meeting at the Rec Club on Saturday, May 10th, to provide information on the scheduled closing of the Wenatchee  River bridge at Plain for nearly the entire month of July. It was announced

that the project dates have been set back to not begin until July 7th and it is hoped that the project can be completed in 20 days but could take up to 30 days. It was explained that the summer closure was dictated by weather requirements,  state regulatory requirements, spotted owl and other environmental concerns of the State and school bus routes.  Local merchants,  emergency service

leaders and lodging operators expressed anger and frustration that this closure was planned and announced with no consultation whatsoever with the community.  It was pointed out that July is the height of the tourist season in our area and with it comes significant increases in traffic, emergency responses and fire activity and that responses to emergency situations would be severely impacted by the closure during these busy times.  It was pointed out by some that the Chiwawa Loop Road is not safe for the significant increase in traffic that would be routed there. As the meeting progressed it appeared to many that the driving force behind the mid-summer closure was the school bus issue. Parents and community members present argued that with the cooperation and planning of parents and the school district that the bus routes issue could be resolved with some route coordination, walking students across the old bridge in Plain, etc and several people volunteered to assist in planning and carrying out alternative transportation plans. It was the apparent consensus of the group that delaying the project to immediately after Labor Day would be the optimum solution to this controversy.  The County agreed to have further talks with the school district to determine if that is feasible

{ 0 comments… add one }