Second rail bridge over Lake Pend Oreille put on hold

By Cameron Rasmusson
Reader Staff

Locals worried about an expansion of oil and coal train traffic can breath a sigh of relief on at least one count: BNSF Railway has backed off on its proposed second rail bridge across Lake Pend Oreille.

The Spokesman-Review reports the rail company, on second thought, is doing just fine with its existing rail network, thank you very much. Saying existing freight traffic doesn’t justify the addition, company officials have put the plan on hold. That doesn’t mean the company won’t pick plans up later; they’re just waiting for it to make financial sense, according to company spokesperson Gus Malonas.

“Eventually we will add another bridge,” he told the Spokesman-Review. “It’s all driven by the dollar. At this point we’re investing in other areas—choke points that are immediate.”

From the jump, the proposed second bridge was controversial among many locals, already perturbed by the volume of oil and coal traffic, its environmental impacts and the potential for a catastrophic explosion or spill. [CR]

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