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WSDOT is Planning the New Elwha Bridge

WSDOT is Planning The New Elwha Bridge

Replacing the  Elwha River Bridge is a “Federal” top down government issue.

I emailed my Mar 9, 2017 comment to the elected that should be concerned?   And others that are genuinely concerned.

WSDOT is working now on (option #7)  bridge design, environmental issues, land acquisition, permitting and programming. MAR 3, 2017.

WSDOT is ONLY planning the “Transportation” future of Clallam County’s  lifeline of highway 101.

I saw the new proposed option #7 bridge design on Mar 7, 2017, and I immediately saw the possibilities for CLALLAM COUNTY’S ECONOMIC  FUTURE LIFELINE OF TOURISM.

The bad news  on Mar 7, 2017?  I was informed that  there has been NO planning, cooperation or coordination between WSDOT and Clallam County elected officials on the New Elwha Bridge. period

Someone suggested that I go to a Commissioners meeting, and give them my two (2) minutes worth.

This is not a bottom up government issue, this is a top down government issue.

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”

So as a concerned Clallam County citizen I posted this on my website.

The New Elwha Bridge and Rest Stop?

Posted on March 9, 2017 10:29 am by Pearl Rains Hewett Comment

The New Elwha Bridge and Rest Stop? The possibilities are endless

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Indeed, Replacing the  Elwha River Bridge is a “Federal” top down government issue. I emailed my comment to the elected that should be concerned?   And others that are genuinely concerned

WA State’s elected Federal Rep. Derek Kilmer and his new local rep.

WA State elected Reps Steve Tharinger, Kevin Van DeWege, and Mike Chapman.

Clallam County elected Commissioners, Mark Mosias, Bill Peach and Randy Johnson, and, elected DCD director Mary Ellen Winborn.

I sent it to WSDOT as a public comment

I sent it  ONP Brian Winters project manager for the Dam Removals. As an informed Clallam County citizen there is also the issue of Federal accountability, responsibility, restoration for the irreparable destruction of the bridge caused by the removal of the Elwha River Dams and the tribes manmade log jams upriver from the bridge.

Behind My Back | Battered by Dam Removal – Elwha Bridge

www.behindmyback.org/2017/01/…/battered-by-dam-removal-elwha-bridge-destroye…

Jan 11, 2017 – Battered by Dam Removal Elwha Bridge Destroyed A DAM TRAGEDY THE ELWHA RIVER BRIDGE MARCH 11, 2016 Andy Ritchie, project …

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And the cost of replacing the Battered Elwha River Bridge is only $29.5 million dollars of tax payers money.

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A DAM TRAGEDY THE ELWHA RIVER BRIDGE

The feds removed the Elwha River Dams. The Tribes got what they wanted for the fish, the Feds financed the removal of the Elwha River Dams with citizens taxpayer money. When the feds removed the dams, the citizens of Clallam County were the biggest losers. Citizens  lost their clean inexpensive hydro electric power producing dams, flood protection, and water storage for drought.

The tribes were allowed by the feds to install huge manmade log jams for the fish on the Elwha River inside the Olympic National Park.

During subsequent  flooding events, Nov 17, 2015, a devastating flood event occurred, the 300,000 public tourists and  private land Inholders  access road to Olympic National Park was lost, Gated by the ONP.

During subsequent  flooding events the huge logs from the tribes manmade log jams became battering rams that destroyed public and Inholder campground recreational facilities. And, eventually battered and destroyed the Elwha River Bridge.

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Restitution from  the federal government to the citizens of Clallam County for the financial loss incurred by the removal of the Elwha River Dams, is long overdue.

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 March 7, 2017  After looking at the WSDOT plans for the New Elwha Bridge and the  importance of Norm’s Resort property plus the WDFW boat launch property combined is nearly 50 acres of previously developed recreational land.

The importance to the citizens of Clallam County, the economic necessity for tourism, Indeed, the possibilities and opportunity for a Clallam County rest stop, picnic area, a river walk on both sides of the Elwha River, that could provide another new Clallam County Recreational Park.

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WSDOT is planning Clallam County’s transportation future. period

 The limited opportunities to get the rest area/river walk/picnic area/camping area idea in front of WSDOT in support of coordinated planning with the Clallam County Board of commissioners, prompted the posting on my website.

The New Elwha Bridge and Rest Stop?

Clallam County elected representatives should be in position “NOW”  to plan the Economic future of its citizens with WSDOT so they can do something about it “NOW”

 “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”

How important is Clallam County’s economy

Mar 12,2017 I called our local newspaper  PDN and  and radio station KONP

They have access to my comment “The New Elwha Bridge and Rest Stop?”

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I was reminded, that there is public tourist recreational access on the Elwha River

The Highway 112  The Elwha River Trail bridge.   This segment of ODT starts with a crossing of the Elwha River on a new 586 ft trail bridge suspended 70 ft above the river underneath the auto deck. with views of the river and flood plain below.

INDEED, THE ODT A CYCLING DREAM COME TRUE

ATTRACTION: MOUNTAIN BIKE ENTHUSIASTS

MAY YOU BE YOUNG ENOUGH AND FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO RIDE THE DREAM!

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PUBLIC RECREATIONAL ACCESS TO ELWHA RIVER PUBLIC FACILITIES

TO THE EXCLUSION OF OTHERS THAT ARE TOO OLD, DISABLED AND HAVE  LESS INCOME?

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The New Elwha Bridge and Norm’s Resort

Who’s Norm?  What’s he got to do with it?

IN 1979  Norm’s Resort on the Elwha River gave free public recreational access on ten or more acres of private land.

Norm’s Resort  was at the intersection of the Highway 101 Elwha River Bridge and the defunct Olympic Hot Springs Road.

As a  witness with living memory of what Norm’s Resort provided to our community

Norm’s Resort provided “we the people”  and tourists with free public access,  a peaceful walk on the banks of the Elwha River under towering trees, fishing holes to fish in, a store, cabins, picnic area and rental boats.

What a store it was… a very public establishment with very friendly people, food, snacks and then there was the fishing tackle.

How do I know all this stuff about NORM’S RESORT?  because it was personal.

In 1979, my two teenage sons and i spent an entire summer at our family Elwha River. “Inholders” recreational property inside the Olympic National Park,  accessed using the Olympic Hot Springs Road.

The boys spent half of their time fly fishing, and the other half of their time walking 3 miles on the Olympic Hot Springs Road (one way) down to NORM’S RESORT to replenish their mosquito flies.

The old guys met, drank coffee, socialized and even spent their time to teach my boys how to play “Ship Captain and Crew”

NORM’S RESORT  was the go to Place. And it was very busy.

Got tourists? Need fishing gear? Got milk? Need groceries?

Indeed, in 1979 Clallam County had millions of tourist and our city and county flourished.

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i could stop at this point because it’s personal, But I won’t because IT IS PERSONAL

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Later in the early 1980’s, Norm’s Resort provided their  boats to the Clallam County  Law Enforcement Explorer Post.( LEEP’S)  for search and rescue.

As a  witness with living memory of  what NORM’S RESORT PROVIDED TO OUR COMMUNITY

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A drunk driver missed the curve at the Elwha River bridge on highway 101.

Directly in front of NORM’S RESORT, the truck flipped upside down as it plunged into the river

A  young woman was thrown from the truck and missing in the Elwha River.

The response was Clallam County search and rescue, the Sheriff’s Dept. dive team, Reserve’s and The Law Enforcement Explorer Post.( LEEP’S) and an advisor (Pearl Hewett).

NORM volunteered his small rental row boats to The Law Enforcement Explorer Post.

( LEEP’S) SEARCH AND RESCUE TEENAGERS and an advisor (Pearl Hewett) so they could search for young woman.

The Sheriff’s Dept. dive team gave up their search and left.

With due diligence and perseverance the  ( LEEP’S) SEARCH AND RESCUE TEENAGERS and an advisor (Pearl Hewett) continued the search up and down the river in the NORM’S RESORT small rental row boats.

That afternoon a 14 year old member of the LEEP and an advisor (Pearl Hewett) found  the body of the young woman, pinned underwater in a log jam, on an island in the middle of the Elwha River.

(I could stop at this point)

But, I won’t…. It was a traumatic incident for both the 14 year old and myself.

Our boat came to rest in the log jam directly over her body, her lost wooden clog was above her,  an unbearable  view of her.  The 14 year old boy jumped up to get out of the boat, I made him sit down, he said he was going to be sick.

The Elwha River was roaring so loudly it took us over a half an hour of yelling to attract the attention of someone one the east bank. (no cell phones back then)

Using hand gestures we indicated that we had found her body.

We sat in the boat and waited. while another teenage  LEEP ran up to Norm’s store and called the Sheriffs Dept.

We sat in the boat and waited  until the Sheriff Dept Dive team arrived.

We sat in the boat and watched as the Dive team tied off her body so it would not  be washed downstream.

We sat in the boat and watched as she was pulled across the river and laid face down in a sheriff’s Dept. boat.

Traumatic? face down? because rigor had her knees bent and set at a 90 degree angle ….and the purple socks she was wearing….

THE PDN REPORTED on the incident

WITH NO MENTION OF THE PART THE TEENAGE  LAW ENFORCEMENT EXPLORER POST.( LEEP’S) PLAYED in finding and recovering.

Indeed, the destruction of NORM’S RESORT is personal.

AND NOW 2017 ?  use the same worst case scenario?

A drowning recovery on the Elwha River without Norm’s Resort and his small rental boats?

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Yep… It’s Personal…

IN 1979 WE HAD FREE ACCESS TO ELWHA RIVER  RECREATION ON PRIVATE LAND

IN 2013 REQUESTS WERE MADE IN PUBLIC COMMENTS ON THE SHORELINE MANAGEMENT UPDATE (SMP)

REQUESTING, THAT THE NEARLY 50 ACRES IN U.S.A. LIMBO LAND, SHOULD BE GIVEN TO CLALLAM COUNTY FOR PUBLIC ACCESS.

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MAR 3, 2017 ENGINEERS ARE LOOKING AT BUILDING A 36-FOOT-WIDE BRIDGE WITH 12-FOOT LANES FOR VEHICLES AND 6-FOOT PEDESTRIAN LANES, WYNANDS SAID.

MAR 9, 2017 I posted, The New Elwha Bridge and Rest Stop? The possibilities are endless

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March 13, 2017 Rep Derek Kilmer’s News Letter….

Subject: Helping Those in Need

Kilmer’s bottom line,  PLEASE DON’T HESITATE TO HOLLER IF I CAN BE OF ASSISTANCE.

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MARCH 14, 2017,  I  post another comment first

“WSDOT is Planning The New Elwha Bridge”

Then, I email my comment to the elected that should be concerned?  

And others that are genuinely concerned.

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HELLO REPRESENTATIVE DEREK KILMER…..

 I AM REQUESTING THAT THE NEARLY  50 ACRES OF HISTORIC PUBLIC RECREATIONAL IN CLALLAM COUNTY, OWNED BY THE U.S.A. IN LIMBO LAND,   BE GIVEN BACK TO THE CLALLAM COUNTY etal.,  ELECTED COMMISSIONERS FOR THE ECONOMIC RECOVER OF TOURISM.

Other opportunities,  I encourage anyone interested, from the public side of this equation, to send a comment to your elected federal state representative, a comment for WSDOT

And, a note of support, for the idea to the Clallam County Board of commissioners.

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Department of Transportation designing new Elwha River bridge for …

www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/department-of-transportation-designing-new-elw…

Mar 3, 2017 – Department of Transportation designing new Elwha River bridge for … after funding and permitting the new bridge, plans would likely move …

The public overwhelmingly told DOT it should replace the bridge and put it on a new alignment. The cities of Forks and Port Angeles, Clallam County and the Port of Port Angeles also urged DOT to build on a new alignment.

DOT is working now on bridge design, environmental issues, land acquisition, permitting and programming, Wynands said.

ENGINEERS ARE LOOKING AT BUILDING A 36-FOOT-WIDE BRIDGE WITH 12-FOOT LANES FOR VEHICLES AND 6-FOOT PEDESTRIAN LANES, HE SAID.

He said the hope is DOT will acquire funding during this legislative session. DOT has submitted its budget and requested about $29.5 million, he said.