Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877


Railroad line repair cost set at a half million dollars


March 21, 2019

Repair of the embankment slide which has closed the railroad serving the west and north sections of Whitman County is expected to cost in the range of a half million dollars. Larry Rasmussen, engineer at the Spokane DOT district office in Spokane, this morning reported a contract bid with Shamrock Construction to make the repairs has been accepted by the DOT.

Exact amount of the contract will be reported when the document is signed. Shamrock submitted the low bid for the job.

The railroad service was knocked out Jan. 23 after heavy rain caused the north embankment of Willow Creek to slide down and leave a large vertical bank next to the railroad which has remained in place.

The location is west of Pampa Pond near mile marker 99 on Highway 26.

Shamrock is scheduled to begin work March 25 and the project is expected to be finished in three weeks.

The bank failure at Willow Creek has cut off rail supply to the McGregor Company at Mockonema, and it has stopped shipments of grain from Northwest Grain Growers, formerly Whitgro, at Endicott, St. John and other sites in the system.

A new grain loader system at Endicott, which will be able to ship grain in the same mode as the big McCoy loader north of Oakesdale, has been targeted to go into service in the middle of next month.

Erosion of the banks along Willow Creek has long been a concern for operation of the rail line.

The repair operation calls for riprap rock to be dumped to support the bank. State DOT has surveyed the site.


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