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Cattle trucks must stay on I-90 or face fine

Wed., May 4, 2011, midnight

OLYMPIA – Large cattle trucks coming into Washington from Idaho will have to use Interstate 90 and stay off roads such as East Trent Avenue 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 use State Highway 290 – which becomes Trent – through Spokane Valley to bypass the port of entry weigh station just west of the Idaho border.

State Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, was the prime sponsor of the bill and said hundreds of trucks avoid entry inspections, which can detect sick animals, and travel 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.

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