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Transportation: Dredge river, create bridge
The truck accident blocking Deception Pass bridge for 6 1/2 hours Friday, Jan. 30, and the near disastrous flooding we experienced last fall, are two unrelated serious problems that share a common solution.
Whidbey Island needs a second bridge and the important military base on Whidbey must have reliable highway access. Every year that dredging the mouth of the Skagit River is delayed, the threat of a major disastrous flood is increased.
The solution I propose is to dredge the Skagit River using the sand that is plugging the mouth of the river. Create a causeway with the dredged material running from the westerly edge of Fir Island nearly all the way across the shallow Skagit Bay. Build a bridge similar to the Berentson Bridge on Highway 20, connecting the end of the causeway to Whidbey Island so that marine navigation is not impeded.
The total distance from Conway to Oak Harbor would be about 15 miles and would take about 20 minutes of drive time. It now takes an hour to travel from Conway to Oak Harbor.
If you support this solution, urge your legislators to make it happen. If you oppose this solution, maybe you are an environmentalist who cares more about eelgrass than people.
The Department of Ecology loves shorelines and this will create about six miles of new shoreline. I am an environmentalist too and my concern is for protecting the citizens from the dangers of flooding and providing them with safe and efficient highways.