One wonders if this story from Aberdeen’s The Daily World will finally wake WSDOT up to the if-you-build-it-traffic-will-come catch-22 of highway expansion.
Since the recent start of 520 pontoon construction in Aberdeen, the State Patrol has been enforcing weight limits for heavy trucks crossing local bridges with fines as high as $17,000. Aberdeen’s topography is such that one bridge or another must be crossed to enter the city. Until recently, the Patrol has turned a blind eye toward heavy trucks on bridges but the barrage of concrete material deliveries to WSDOT’s pontoon casting site means the weight limits — weight limits set by WSDOT — now must be enforced.
This is rich. As the State spends money to build 520’s new pontoons, it also collects fines from subcontractors doing the State’s work. Furthermore, the heavy loads fatiguing Aberdeen’s bridges may mean WSDOT will soon have more bridges to replace. It’s more than poetic that the infrastructure we have can’t support the infrastructure we desire. It’s hubris.