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Economic and dam related articles

Letter: Super Port

by Dave Smith
The Daily Astorian, February 29, 2008

(Ross William Hamilton) A tugboat, foreground, pushed three barges into the navigation lock of the John Day Dam, where the frontmost pair later hit the upstream gate. The double-wide, double-hulled barge in the center is filled with diesel fuel. Patrick McGee makes a salient point ("We must get real on transportation," The Daily Astorian, Feb. 14). The Pacific Northwest needs a "super port" to be developed somewhere near the mouth of the Columbia River. Such a port would also need access to both regional railroads as well as Columbia/Snake river barges to promote enough competitive transportation options overland.

The problem is that such projects are nearly impossible to facilitate in a timely fashion because of the increasing burden of environmental regulations. What used to take a few years to build in the days of yore now can take decades if ever to come to fruition.

The last big infrastructure project built in the Pacific Northwest was Lower Granite Dam on the lower Snake River in southeast Washington, over three decades ago. Now, some people are talking about dam removal.

It is ironic that the Democratic Party was once the promoter of public works projects like dams, bridges and the like. Now they seem to be catering solely to those who favor infrastructure destruction. Not a good portent for our economic future.

Dave Smith, Pullman, Wash.
Letter: Super Port
The Daily Astorian, February 29, 2008

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