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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
June 3, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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June 3, 2009
 

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J A6 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 2009 THE ISSAQUAH PRESS bri, shutd BY WARREN KAGARISE Transportation officials want drivers to plan ahead as the state readies to close the three lanes of the westbound Interstate 90 project early. Workers tested the joints after the installation and Mike Coleman, the chief DOT inspector for the project, inspected the bridge before it was reopened to traffic. floating bridge next month. Commute times from Issaquah A state Department of to Seattle doubled from the usual Transportation official had a 30 minutes during the worst peri- stark warning for commuters last ads of congestion related to the week. "If you thought it was bad in May, unless a significant number of people change their habits, it is going to be far worse," said Russ East, assistant regional adminis- trator for the DOT. About 71,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day. East said the congestion would be severe dur- ing the shutdown. He said factors such as bad weather and acci- dents can also wreak havoc with commute times. "I don't want to predict how far the backups will go," he added. Officials will close the bridge for repairs July 5. The shutdown is scheduled to last up to three weeks. Crews will install a pair of nqw expansion joints weighing 55 tons each. Joints -- some of the closure. DOT officials negotiated with the contractor about the possibil- ity to alter the schedule and shorten the July shutdown, East told City Council members during the May 26 Committee-of-the- Whole Council meeting. East said the measures dis- cussed including prep work at the construction site and having crews work longer hours to com- plete the joint project. "We found that working with the contractor, there are things that he can do to accelerate, East said. "They don't come with- out cost." East laid out suggestions to help cut down on the number of commuters using the bridge at peak times: Take a vacation, or commute before 6 a.m. and after largest in the world -- allow the the evening rush. bridge to bend with traffic, "If you're trying to travel during weather and the water level in the midday, the problem that Lake Washington. you're going to have is that, while Existing joints began to crack and deteriorate soon after the the volumes will be down, it will still be extraordinarily congested, bridge opened in 1989. Although because the freeway doesn't have workers have conducted patch- the capacity," East said. work repairs for years, state Councilman Joshua Schaer, an Department of Transportation attorney, said he took a vacation officials said the joints must be the second week of the May shut- replaced before they weaken and down. The vacation allowed him break, to avoid a packed commute to the The entire project will be paid law firm in downtown Seattle for with $8.3 million of federal where he works. bridge funds, paid for with gas "I can attest to the fact that the tax revenue, commute time was well over an Crews spent two weeks in May hour from Issaquah to down- replacing expansion joints on the town, since I travel that route two adjacent express lanes. The every day," Schaer said. project was completed a week ahead of schedule. Officials Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at attributed the shorter shutdown 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@iss- to incentives offered to the con- press.com. Comment on this storyat tractor ff workers finished the www.issaquahpress.com. II BY CHANTELLE LUSEBRINK Union groups attended a school board meeting May 27 and alleged that Issaquah School District offi- cials violated state law by not using union apprentices in construction projects. Before the meeting, fliers were dispersed at Issaquah High School, the district administration building and local stores around the city. Union officials claim district offi- cials didn't follow 2007 state man- dates requiring 15 percent appren- ticeship program utilization for the Issaquah High School remodel. "What the district has done is use a loophole in the law to not require current state apprentice- ship requirements," said Ben Freitag, a King County building organizer for the International Union of North America in the Puget Sound area. "In this situa- tion, their bond is pre-2007, so they don't have to require 15 per- cent apprenticeship utilization. But they could have. "We would like to have seen them do the right thing, to go beyond the call here and require what the cur- rent state mandate is for appren- ticeship utilization for the Issaquah High School project," he added. Steve Crawford, director of capi- tal projects for the district, said district officials are following every state law. "The state did increase the per- centage of apprenticeship program training in the new legislative ses- sion to 15 percent," Crawford said. "However, they did recognize that there is a cost impact, because you are basically adding more trainees to any project and that translates to a cost in labor. In recognition of that, they excluded any projects that were using voter approved funds approved prior to July 2007." That means all projects budgeted from the 2006 voter approved con- struction bond aren't mandated to follow the new 15 percent appren- ticeship mandates, he said. "So, when they say in fliers that we didn't abide by the law, they are wrong," he said. Since the projects weren't bud- geted with a 15 percent appren- ticeship rate in mind, there simply isn't enough funding to add those on to the project costs today, Crawford said. "The state realized that and did- n't want to put an unfunded man- date on school districts," he said, adding that district officials won't pull the contract and re-award it. The issues are coming up now because of the recession, he added. "It is a very competitive market now and people are getting very tight. There are contractors and subcontractors bidding on work to basically pay overhead and keep people employed," he said. When asked why union workers didn't dominate contracts for Issaquah High School, Crawford said the state's bid law has a lot to do with it. District officials are required by law to take the lowest responsible bidder on a contract, Crawford said. For example, school board mem- bers awarded a tentative contract for the new elementary school, near Pine Lake, May 27 to Rabbit Neuman Construction because they submitted the lowest bid at $14.36 million. "It is my understanding that, currently, union wage rates are higher than prevailing wage rates by $3 to $4, and that they have bargaining agreements that call for increases for another $2 to $3 an hour, so they are falling further behind," Crawford said. "I disagree where apprentice mandates cost more money," Freitag said. "The main reason is that an apprentice makes less money. They start at 50 percent to 60 percent of what a journeyman makes on the pay scale." When building the third runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, officials saved money by using apprentices, Fre!tag said, adding that he doesn t believe union workers make more than other prevailing wageworkers. The Issaquah High School proj- ect has about 41 percent union workers, Crawford said. A calculation of the percentage of union workers for the new ele- mentary school hasn't been done yet, but major subcontractors for the heating and ventilation sys- tems, and plumbing and electrical work are union workers, he added. Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@iss- press.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress, com. Oregon akers con, Oregon legislators have con- demned the violence against an Issaquah man who was assaulted during an anti-gay attack while on a spring break trip to Seaside, Ore. Members of the state. House of Representatives unanimously passed a ceremonial resolution May 19 condemning the attack and asking Congress to pass federal hate crime legislation. The meas- ure will now be considered by the state Senate. An Issaquah man and his boyfriend were beaten uncon- scious March 22 during an inci- dent Oregon authorities described as a hate crime. The men were attacked on a beach in Seaside, a resort town with about 6,000 resi- dents. The other man beaten during the attack is a Bothefl resident. The men, 22 and 23, are Shoreline Community College nursing stu- dents. Investigators said the men stopped by a beach campfire after midnight March 22. When they left the campfire for a walk along the water, three or four men dressed in black attacked them. Both men were beaten until they lost con- sciousness. When they regained conscious- ness, they walked to the Best Western Ocean View Resort, where hotel staff contacted the Seaside Police Department. The men were treated for injuries at a Seaside hospital and released. itage students past and present can share with each other, Woldseth said. "For generations to come, stu- FROM PAGE AX dents will ask, Who was Gary Moore?'" she added. "That is the beauty of what we are doing this carry that motto into the new evening. They will be able to school being built," Nystrom told share the story and pass on the the board. "With pride in its his- leg, acy." tory, let us honor Issaquah High I have been a resident in this School tradition by honoring community for 16 years," School Gary Moore, so that the new gen- Board President Brian Deagle erations of students will know the example he set on and off the field." The cost for a new sign is about $700, Nystrom said. While the money hasn't been raised yet, Nystrom said several members and community organizations have already promised support in coming months. The name will add to the her- said. "Until Mardi made the pro- posal, I didn't know Gary's story..And I'm richer for it and I think the community will be richer for it to have his name be an enduring symbol in our com- munity." Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@iss- press.com. Comment on this story at www. issaquahpr ess. com. SUMMER CLASSES at Pine Lake Comm. Center! June 22 - Sept 4 fresh moves I new music I pure motivation 8:00 AM MON/WED/FRI Pine Lake Community Center, SE 33rd Street, Issaquah www,redmondjazz.com 425.898,1561 jazzercise.corn (800) FIT-IS-IT brttme Eveff OIher Fdday 12-1:30 m St Mk:tBers Church -- 2 Ave g Darst SL [] Complimentary light lunch Networking Professional speakers Helpful hand-outs June 5 Foundations for Job Searching June 19 Working World Wkle Web bm KjSd y m & The Issaquah Press A Pediatric I)entist is trained to provide primary and spe- cialty oral health care to intimts, children, adok~cents and patients with special health care needs. A Pediatric Dentist is a gradu- ate from an accredited Dental School as well as a two-year Pediatric Dental Program. A Pediatric Dentist may elect to become Board Certified, which requires that they un- dergo an additional examina- tion process by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistr> ~g:d:~:v. Li. Lombadi ,rod @d,by are