More big rigs for North Bend? City seeks public input on Tanner trucking expansion

City planners are weighing approval this fall of a proposed expansion of trucking services in North Bend.

A group of landowners led by Puget Western, Inc., are in talks with the city about new tractor-trailer parking and services next to the existing TravelCenters of America hub off Interstate 90’s exit 34. The discussion comes as North Bend considers how the recently annexed Tanner neighborhood will grow.

North Bend’s TravelCenter has capacity for about 170 trucks. But on busy days, overflow semi-trailer traffic leads to trucks parking on side streets.

With the proposal, the city is working to identify what expansion would mean for the wider community.

“It’s become a question of what is better,” said Gina Estep, North Bend’s Director of Planning and Development. “Plan for accommodating trucks using North Bend as a service area? Or limit it and address the overflow impacts that could occur 20 years from now in a need for additional truck space.”

The city has already created an overlay district that would allow expansion of about 12 acres. Estep said property owners want more land than that.

Estep’s department recommends that additional expansion be based on a development agreement and analysis of economic and truck parking impacts. Wear and tear on city streets would also have to be mitigated.

Estep also stressed the need to consider the wider impacts of increased truck traffic.

“It needs to be done in conjunction with a regional plan,” she said.

Such a regional freight mobility plan might require a trucking developer to consult with the Port of Seattle, Washington State Department of Transportation and the State Patrol.

Quality of life

Some North Bend residents who have followed the expansion issue have questioned what it would mean for local quality of life.

“The noise and, most of all, the pollution from the trucks idling during their layover, which could be up to 10 hours, is a significant health concern,” said resident Frank Cranney.

Former North Bend planning commissioner and Wood River resident Sherwood Korssjoen questions how the expansion will shape North Bend’s future.

“There are 275 vehicles impacting that intersection and it’s built for 174,” Korssjoen said. “On a Sunday night, there’s a minimum of 220 trucks on site and an additional 30 to 50 trucks parked on the streets and roads.”

The North Bend City Council is considering a no-idle ordinance to mitigate diesel exhaust concerns.

“We’re planning on reducing impacts, versus having impacts drive us because we didn’t think ahead,” Estep said.

The North Bend planning commission has not made a recommendation on the issue.

• The North Bend City Council will take public comment on expansion at its Tuesday, Sept. 21, regular meeting. The council meets at 7 p.m. at Mount Si Senior Center, 411 Main Ave. S.

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