Thursday, April 15, 2010

Port of Entry Project Starts Monday

I love this time of year. It's the time when news releases are coming out my ears about construction projects getting ready to start. I never have to dig for blog material in the spring. Here's the latest:

Work gets underway on the new Washington State Patrol Port of Entry facility (also known as the weigh station) on Monday. The new facility will be about one half mile west of the current port of entry and includes a new building and scales, a fully enclosed vehicle inspection building, and new “weigh in motion” scales on the Interstate 90 westbound lanes.

The weigh in motion system lets trucks equipped with special transponders to be weighed as they drive by at freeway speed. These trucks won't have to stop, meaning traffic will keep moving more efficiently.

Most of the work will not affect freeway through traffic. And just for the record, I will most likely not be going out to take pictures of the new station. Some of you may recall the last time I was asked to take pictures of the weigh station and how it led to the State Patrol tracking me down, via my personal cell phone, to ask what I was up to. That resulted in a minor tiff with state patrol personnel who didn't like the fact that I blogged about the incident because some speculated on the blog was that state patrol was pulling a 'big brother' on me.

State patrol officials said they don't supboena cell phone records, they use your license number if you're seen doing anything unusual (such as taking a picture) at the weigh station, and use it to find out who you are. If you've ever contacted law enforcement for any reason, they obtain your contact information and give you a call to chat. So that's the long and short of it.

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.