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AUGUST 25, 1997

Opinion

SR 203 needs permanent repair

  I was very saddened to learn of another death on SR 203 (another loss of hay from a truck, August 4).
  
   This has the appearance of being partially caused by the irregular road surface most of us are familiar with along this road. The fact that hay trucks make it this far from eastern Washington with their loads intact until they reach our highway speaks loud & clear. Perhaps with this incident somebody will wake up and see why this road needs a more permanent repair. The state (all of US) should have some responsibility for the poor condition of this road, and accidents it causes. The delays caused by 'fixing' of our roads are driving everyone nuts. But this isn't going to make SR203 much better beyond a few weeks. A state highway engineer told me that 'overlaying' SR 203 is going to do as much damage as good; unless a proper foundation is installed, the severe dips will continue to exist or re-appear. Reason: There is not an adequate foundation to support the road or the heavy loads highway users (trucks) now exert. Organic materials are decaying beneath the surface, and will not support the load of even just the pavement, let alone heavy vehicles. While the origin of the road (farm to market?) is long forgotten we know where responsibility lies for correction.
  
   School buses, emergency vehicles and all kinds of traffic depend on this highway; we should be 'on the rooftops' calling for a more permanent fix.
  
   Anders Tronsen, Carnation