Local news

In brief: Construction site yields gravestones

SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2011

TACOMA – About 25 gravestones, but so far no remains, have been found at a downtown Tacoma construction site.

Workers at a transit construction site discovered the headstones earlier this month at the building site in the heart of the Puyallup Tribe’s historical territory, the News Tribune reported.

Archaeological or historically significant finds can be disastrously expensive for big public construction projects. The worst example in recent history was the find at the state Department of Transportation graving dock in Port Angeles. The find cost the department more than $86 million and eventually forced state officials to abandon the construction site.

Sound Transit spokesman Geoff Patrick said this is a different case because headstones have been found, not graves.

Corps forces work on levee system

MILTON-FREEWATER, Ore. – The levee system along the Walla Walla River is badly in need of repair in one Eastern Oregon town, costing homeowners a flood insurance premium until the system is fixed.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stopped certifying the levee system near Milton-Freewater, Ore., in 2007. Homeowners were forced to buy flood insurance.

Voters approved a $2.85 million bond in November to pay for improvements. Project managers say the bond’s cost to individual property owners is less than the premium for flood insurance.

The work – and new FEMA maps – should be completed by next summer.

Tower would help with volcano data

CRATER LAKE, Ore. – In order to monitor a potentially active volcano in Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park, the U.S. Geological Survey wants to build a 60-foot-tall tower that will allow the transmission of information from surveying instruments.

The monitoring agency released a draft report last week in which it noted the current infrastructure in the park can’t support the additional load needed to transmit volcanic monitoring data to the Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, Wash.

The new tower would allow 24-hour monitoring of the volcano.


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