The city of North Bend is opposing the Washington State Department of Transportation’s preferred location for the truck weigh station as part of the Interstate 90 and state Route 18 improvements.
On Thursday, May 23, North Bend’s interim city administrator Mark Rigos released a statement opposing WSDOT’s choice of Milepost 33.5 as the preferred location for the weigh station.
The site sits on the eastbound side of I-90 directly across the road from the current Truck Town area and adjacent to several homes along Southeast 150th Street.
According to Rigos, city representatives attended the fourth WSDOT Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) meeting where the preferred location was announced. Rigos said new information was presented to support the location, raising more concerns about the criteria and data.
“The city is concerned there are flaws in their cost estimates and that important criteria such as mitigation costs have not been factored in to minimize adverse impacts to life, safety, public health and the environment,” Rigos wrote. “North Bend City Council fully supports the I-90/SR 18 Interchange Project and wishes to expedite improvements. However, the city maintains that WSDOT should extricate the new weigh station from the $150 million overall project. We believe today’s decision is premature and oppose a weigh station in this location. We will continue to advocate that WSDOT more closely examine other weigh station locations using a wider breadth of criteria.”
WSDOT has heard criticism of the location from residents of North Bend during public engagement efforts as well. Citizens have cited pollution, noise and increased truck traffic as some of the primary concerns.
Because of upcoming construction work to redesign the I-90 and SR 18 interchange outside of Snoqualmie, the existing weigh station on the westbound exit from Snoqualmie Parkway to I-90 must be moved. WSDOT identified and studied seven possible sites and eventually narrowed the choices to three.
The other two sites considered were at Bandera State Airport just East of North Bend as well as Cle Elum on the east side of the Snoqualmie Pass. WSDOT has said a location west of the Snoqualmie Pass is preferred so State Patrol can check braking systems and enforce the use of chains.
Phase two of the project is expected begin in July and last until January 2021, with work to refine the design, complete environmental documentation, complete permits and release a request for proposals.