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Former Rep. Harwood returns to House to testify against heavy-truck bill

Former state Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, is among those testifying this afternoon against SB 1117, the bill to allow extra-heavy trucks statewide. “I’m here as a citizen and an opponent,” he told the House Transportation Committee. “I’m here representing Bud’s Big Burger – that’s the place I go for coffee.” The bill’s been the subject of lots of talk there, he said. “In my town, when you’re going out of St. Maries, you’re crossing the St. Maries River and you’re crossing the railroad bridge. They both are longer than the longest trucks that we haul. So you got the truck on there. … It’s a lot more tear on them bridges, and those are old bridges. They’ve been there since the ‘60s.”

He added, “Up in North Idaho, most of our roads are two-lane, narrow roads. … There’s 110 corners from St. Maries to Plummer, I’ve counted ‘em many times.” Harwood recalled when the pilot project for extra-heavy trucks was approved in southern Idaho. “They promised us at that time it will never come north, that was their argument,” he said. “I know they can’t tie you as legislators to that.”

Lobbyist Jane Wittmeyer offered a very different view of North Idaho’s roads, and said Highway 95 in North Idaho is well-suited to heavy trucks. “They’ve upgraded those roads and it’s really quite nice,” she said. “It is no longer a ‘goat trail,’ because of those investments that have been made.”

 


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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