An Interstate 5 bridge near Woodland doesn’t get nearly the notoriety of the I-5 bridge across the Columbia River.But the northbound span across the North Fork of the Lewis River has created plenty of traffic headaches in the past several years. Workers are patching potholes on the concrete bridge deck six to eight times per year, a rate that state transportation officials say is well above average.“It seems to me like a waste of time patching it,” said Doug Fredrickson, a Ridgefield resident who drives the bridge daily to his job in Woodland.Scott Wilcox, bridge maintenance supervisor for the Washington State Department of Transportation in Vancouver, acknowledged that the recurring potholes are a nuisance for motorists and WADOT employees alike. Agency spokeswoman Abbi Russell said the state has spent $60,000 on labor, materials and equipment to make the patches since July 2009.Yet that’s a deal compared to the cost of a total deck replacement, which would cost $3 million to $4 million.“I don’t like spending the money out of my budget, but compared to a $3 million deck replacement, we’re saving the taxpayers a lot of money,” Wilcox said.Despite the recurring potholes over the North Fork of the Lewis, a recent report by a national coalition of transportation and civic organizations ranked Washington as the fifth best in the country in terms of the state of its bridges. Of 7,744 bridges in Washington, 5.1 percent were considered structurally deficient — well below the national average of 11.5 percent.
The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 0 Comments Share Top Stories If you’re a Cardinals fan, you should be gushing over this signing. The Cardinals got a player on a one-year deal who wants to prove he’s more than a one-year deal player. The Cardinals have a CB who’s been expected to shut down the number one receiver and play at an elite level. However, the Cardinals won’t need him to do that.It is a big deal what this does for the Cardinals’ defense. Many things will be written about what Todd Bowles can do with his new toy. Yes, that’s important. But to me, the bigger deal is Keim.The signing of Jared Veldheer is nice because he’s an above average, young left tackle. The contract for Veldheer is much bigger than just the signing. While other teams completely over-pay, Keim filled a need while getting value at the same time. Few GMs can pull off that double.Now, Keim gets a proven CB on a contract that forces Cromartie to prove it again. Keim wanted Cromartie but when Antonio didn’t sign, Keim talked with another CB. Cromartie didn’t get the offers he was looking for elsewhere. He also wanted to be a Cardinal and his agent knew it. Keim didn’t panic and pressured Cromartie at the same time. He completely read 31 other GMs correctly. Keim never negotiated against himself. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling We’ve always known athletes want to play in Phoenix. Now athletes want to play for Bruce Arians. Athletes love talking to a football player and Keim is that player. Steve Keim isn’t terribly far removed from his playing days. He speaks to the players the way they want to be spoken to. He’s not so old that he’s some suit in an office, but he’s experienced enough that his youthful mistakes are out of the way.He evaluates talent well. He negotiates well. He recruits well. He manages a staff well. What other criteria is left for a good GM?Seattle and San Francisco are still the class of the division. That doesn’t change until it’s proven on the field. Never forget, however, the Cardinals are only one season removed from their third straight year with a six-game losing streak. That was the last year of Steve Keim not in his current position as general manager. Since then, he’s 2-0 in offseasons. All morning I’m thinking nothing will take me away from college basketball. This is my time to do nothing but do what I love. Baseball and college basketball.Then the Cardinals strike. Antonio Cromartie and Patrick Peterson are in the same defensive backfield.It’s not just the signing that makes Steve Keim impressive as a GM, it’s the way he goes about it. Any GM could have thrown enough cash at Cromartie to get him to jump. Keim uses leverage and recruiting at the same time, which seems to be impossible. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
This year’s intersection of the deadlines to sign up for health insurance, as well as to file taxes, elevated the role of many tax preparers who have been educating uninsured clients about the health law. Some tax preparers contend the two deadlines should be permanently connected.Politico Pro: Push To Keep Obamacare Deadline On Tax DayTax preparers got their wish: They’re helping to carry Obamacare enrollment across the finish line on Tuesday’s Tax Day. But they’re already worried about a deadline mismatch in 2015. The Obama administration effectively extended this year’s sign-up period for many Americans an extra two weeks, until April 15. That deadline’s intersection with the deadline for filing taxes elevated the role of many major tax preparers, who have been educating uninsured clients and directing them to brokers who could get them enrolled (Cunningham, 4/15).The New York Times: Tax Preparers’ New Role: Health-Coverage AdvisersThe tax system provides both the carrot and the stick for people to obtain coverage. Tax preparers like Jackson Hewitt and H&R Block say they have helped tens of thousands of people apply for tax credits to help defray the cost of private insurance bought through the exchanges. In addition, the big tax service companies and makers of tax preparation software like Intuit’s TurboTax are calculating potential penalties for those who do not have insurance (Pear, 4/14). Some Push To Sync Obamacare Deadline With Tax Day This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.