The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, July 21, 2016, Page 10A, Image 10

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Evacuation: Funding strategies work session set for fall
Continued from Page 1A
The total cost to revamp
all of the routes being looked
at is more than $40 million
and would add 40 miles to the
county road system.
“It’s a long range type of
a plan to go over a series of
years, but it would really be an
investment and provide some
increased emergency and
evacuation potential and bet-
ter logistical support,” Public
Works Director Michael Sum-
mers said.
Summers presented the
idea to the Clatsop County
Board of Commissioners last
week. He knows cities in the
county have their own trans-
portation plans, but he hopes
to work together with the vari-
ous jurisdictions. The commis-
sioners expressed their sup-
port, calling the proposal a
good vision for the county.
“This is excellent, proac-
tive thinking,” Commissioner
Sarah Nebeker said. “It may
not meet everybody’s needs,
but I think it’s a great start.”
Funding plans
The county is planning a
work session this fall to talk
about different funding strate-
gies and options. Besides seek-
ing grants, Summers said, the
county could get creative and
fund the work through a local
gas tax or bond measure. Each
strategy has positives and neg-
atives, he said.
Submitted Graphic
Clatsop County is exploring alternate and evacuation routes on the North Coast.
Another option is to focus
on one project at a time. As
an example, making Pipeline
5oad a viable route would cost
about $15 million.
The Public Works Depart-
ment recently submitted a
grant application to the state
to study tsunami evacua-
tion planning, which includes
researching evacuation routes.
If funded, the county would
receive $90,000 to complete
the work.
In the county’s budget, the
road division set aside $50,000
to begin a feasibility study for
the alternate routes. The funds
could pay for a consultant to
help with studies and actively
pursue grant funding.
As the county considers
the alternate and evacuation
routes, Summers said, some
of the routes could have insur-
mountable constraints such as
private property, wetlands and
historical site concerns.
“There is a fair amount
of public outreach that has to
happen,” he said.
No bypass
5estoring Pipeline 5oad
and Lewis and Clark Mainline
would connect traf¿c to U.S.
Highway 30 and U.S. High-
way 101, while offering a way
around the congestion on the
The county’s proposal
also includes restoring the
Fletcher Mainline outside
Gearhart and three evacu-
ation routes in Seaside that
would connect to the Lewis
and Clark Mainline.
Bill Johnston, a state trans-
portation planner, said the
2regon Department of Trans-
portation and city of Asto-
ria agreed two years ago that
a bypass could not be done in
the foreseeable future. Instead,
the state and the city put sup-
port behind upgrading exist-
ing rural roads as an alternate
route, rather than a bypass.
A bypass is not part of the
county’s plans.
“We are not talking about a
bypass,” Summers said. “We
are talking about other ways
around town.”
From the state’s perspec-
tive, Highway 202 already
provides an alternate route
around Astoria.
“If the purpose of establish-
ing an alternative route is pri-
marily to provide an escape
route in the event of a natu-
ral disaster, it may be a more
practical option to focus on
upgrading 25 202 rather than
constructing a new route,”
Johnston wrote to the city of
New alternative routes are
not a simple matter, Johnston
said, since there can be per-
mitting issues and geological
hazards that would make work
“It’s a complicated issue,”
he said.
When considering the ben-
e¿ts of new alternate routes,
some believe heavy semitruck
traf¿c will be eliminated
through downtown Astoria.
However, Johnston points out
that trucks will continue to
travel through downtown to
reach the Port of Astoria or the
Astoria Bridge.
“5ural roads have too
many sharp curves and steep
grades,” Johnston wrote.
Emergency responders do
see alternate routes as a major
Knappa Fire Chief Paul
2lheiser said his coverage area
contains about six bridges that
have to be crossed to serve
the community. If the bridges
crumble in a natural disaster,
the ¿re department will rely on
alternate routes such as Pipe-
line 5oad.
“I’m in mind to believe
those bridges are going to fail
(in an earthquake),” 2lheiser
Between the Knappa and
Svensen ¿re stations, road
construction is blocking por-
tions of U.S. Highway 30. For
construction or heavy traf¿c,
2lheiser said, other options
help emergency responders.
2ften times, emergency crews
are able to get around such
delays, but sometimes they
“If the county can ¿gure
out a way to alleviate that, that
would be good for everybody,”
2lheiser said.
Merkley: He’s ‘¿ercely opposed’ to the Trans-Paci¿c Partnership
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley,
D-Ore., far right, presented
the Clatsop Community
College ROV (Remotely
Operated Vehicle club) with
a flag flown over the U.S.
Capitol. From left: Adviser
Pat Keefe; Sam Daire, 17;
Georges Oats Larsen, 19;
and Haley Werst, 19 — .
The club recently partic-
ipated in an underwater
robotics competition at
NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy
Lab in Houston.
Continued from Page 1A
foreign workers to do work
that Americans could have
done,” Merkley said. “He ran
a university — quote ‘univer-
sity’ — that was a real estate
scam, (a) predatory organi-
zation designed to strip hard-
working people of their bank
accounts and max out their
credits cards.”
Trump University, now
defunct, is embroiled in law-
suits related to the organiza-
tion’s allegedly deceptive mar-
keting tactics.
“I don’t see in Donald
Trump someone who has ever
woken up a single day in his
life ¿ghting for American
workers,” Merkley said.
Photos by Erick Bengel
The Daily Astorian
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley,
D-Ore., speaks at a town
hall event Wednesday in the
Judge Guy Boyington Build-
ing in Astoria.
Clinton and Sanders
ShawnAnn Hope — a
Democrat and committee-
woman of Precinct No. 46 —
told Merkley she still can’t
decide whether to vote for
Trump or former U.S. Secre-
tary of State Hillary Clinton,
the presumptive Democratic
“The choice is pretty easy
for me,” Merkley said, adding
every voter will have to wres-
tle with the decision.
Merkley was the only U.S.
senator during the primary
to support U.S. Sen. Bernie
Sanders, an independent from
Vermont who ran as a Demo-
crat. Merkley has since urged
Democrats to unite behind
After the town hall, he
said the Democratic Party has
“made a lot of strides toward
being united” after a year of
deep divisions between Clin-
ton and Sanders supporters.
Between Clinton’s vic-
tory last month in the Califor-
nia Democratic primary and
her joint speech with Sanders
in New Hampshire, the party
managed to form a common
vision, Merkley said.
Sanders, according to
Merkley, “made a huge
impact” on the Democratic
“What we saw was that Hil-
lary Clinton adopted many of
the issues that Bernie Sanders
was highlighting,” he said.
These issues include
expanding Social Security,
raising the federal minimum
wage to $15 per hour and “an
emphasis on ending the cor-
ruption of our campaign sys-
tem through massive concen-
trations of cash,” Merkley
“All of those were substan-
tive advancements helping to
bring the party together,” he
Opposed to TPP
Merkley touched on other
controversial issues, including
the Trans-Paci¿c Partnership,
a proposed trade deal among
the United States and 11 other
Paci¿c 5im countries.
The senator is “¿ercely
opposed to the TPP,” he said,
because it will create trade
de¿cits and hurt U.S. manu-
facturers by rewarding for-
eign manufacturers who make
products at lower costs.
After similar trade deals,
Merkley said, many U.S. man-
ufacturers have had to shut
down or move overseas to
remain competitive.
“We’ve lost millions of
jobs,” he said. “And then you
think about: The families that
had those jobs bought grocer-
ies, they bought cars, they’ve
bought homes.
“And so it’s not just the
millions of jobs lost — it’s all
the reverberations,” he said,
“and it’s really a huge fac-
tor affecting the prosperity of
the middle class, the loss of
Merkley’s stance has put
him at odds with U.S. Sen.
5on Wyden, the 2regon Dem-
ocrat and ranking member of
the Senate Finance Committee
who co-sponsored legislation
to “fast-track” the TPP.
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Off the rails
Earlier this month, Merk-
ley and Wyden introduced a
bill addressing oil train derail-
ments like the one that hap-
pened last month near Mosier.
The Mandate 2il Spill
Inspections and Emergency
5ules (M2SIE5) Act calls
for the National Transporta-
tion Safety Board to investi-
gate every substantial derail-
ment allows the Federal 5ail
Administration to place a mor-
atorium on oil trains following
such accidents until an inves-
tigation and safety recommen-
dations have been carried out;
and seeks to reduce the amount
of volatile gases in crude oil.
The larger issue, Merkley
said, is to “pivot quickly off
of fossil fuels to renewable
energy. That’s what it boils
down to. This is our responsi-
bility, of our generation.”
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