Buck says DOT ignored local offer to help with dock issue

Peninsula News Network


Port Angeles, WA - State Representative Jim Buck says local elected officials were completely ignored by the Department of Transportation (DOT) when they tried to help resolve an impasse between DOT and the Lower Elwha Klallams a full year before the state pulled the plug on its Port Angeles dry dock project.

Buck is complaining that the DOT didnít even respond when local lawmakers offered to assist the state and tribe to reach an agreement last winter, a few months after construction was halted when human remains were found on the site.
File photo

At the time, Buck, along with City of Port Angeles and Port of Port Angeles leaders, offered to help the tribe find a site where ancestors could be re-interred and assist DOT in working out an agreement that could allow construction to resume. Buck has told the State Transportation Commission that DOT never responded to that offer.

Subsequently, the tribe and DOT were able to work out their own agreement, but that process fell apart last fall following the discovery of hundreds of remains, and an entire Klallam Village.

Buck is still hopeful the construction of the Hood Canal bridge components can be moved to a new site on the Peninsula. But heís also going to press his Legislative colleagues for a change in the structure of the Transportation Department and Commission to provide better public accountability.



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