The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Town council approves plan for sight distance


Sight distance may soon be improved for motorists turning on to SR 4 from Cathlamet's Main Street.

Town of Cathlamet officials agreed Monday to take steps to trim trees blocking vision to the west of the intersection. The trees, a tall fir and some shorter cherries, are on private property but extend over fences into the highway right-of-way.

At recent meetings of both the town council and board of county commissioners, citizens have complained that the limited visibility makes it dicey to enter the intersection with traffic coming at 50 miles per hour or more.

It's the responsibility of the town to manage vegetation on highway rights-of-way in the town limits, Public Works Director Duncan Cruickshank told the council Monday.

He suggested that trimming lower limbs of the fir tree and pruning the hardwoods would improve sight distance.

Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) staff have also suggested the stop bar at the Main Street stop sign could be moved forward to improve sight distance.

Further plans reduce the speed to 45 mph, and the slower speed will greatly increase safety, Cruickshank said.

Town forester Bill Olsen said the fir tree could be limbed without harming the tree, and pruning the cherry trees would stimulate their growth.

The owner of the property where the fir tree is found gave permission to have hit limbed. Cruickshank and Mayor Dale Jacobson said they would contact the owners of the other properties about trimming those trees clear of the right-of-way. The officials also said they would contact WSDOT to suggest moving the stop line.

In other business:

--The council approved a variance for Wahkiakum County Health and Human Services to operate the Hope Center in the residential area along Third and Maple streets.

--The council agree to support Tsuga Gallery's second annual art walk with a $1,200 donation for marketing, with a possible increase at a later date.


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