OLYMPIA – Large cattle trucks coming into Washington from Idaho will have to use Interstate 90 and stay off other roads like East Trent or face a $1,000 fine under a law signed Tuesday by Gov. Chris Gregoire.
The law targets commercial cattle trucks, some of them from Canada, that are using State Highway 290 to bypass the port of entry weight station just west of the Idaho border.
Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, was the prime sponsor of the bill and said hundreds of trucks are skipping the port of entry by taking the alternate route which becomes East Trent through the Valley. They’re avoiding entry inspections which can detect sick animals and traveling on a road not built to handle heavy trucks.
“The high volume of these trucks is not only causing damage to the highway but creating dangerous congestion for local traffic,” Shea said.
The new law, which was written so it applies only to Spokane and Pend Oreille counties, requires any truck with more than 40,000 pounds gross weight that’s carrying cattle to stop at a port of entry. It passed both chambers unanimously, and goes into effect July 22.