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By Ken Schram

So let me get this straight.

An expansion joint for the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge is on its way here from Minnesota.

The 73-foot piece of bridge makes it across five states and 1,300 miles before hitting the Washington-Idaho border.

At that point the Washington State Patrol checks its nifty regulation book and says it's too heavy to go the final 300 miles.

State Department of Transportation officials, who wrote the nifty regulation book used by the State Patrol, pipe in with something about how the expansion joint -- which weighs in at about 330,000 pounds -- is on a trailer that might not have enough axels to distribute the weight properly.

They're worried the bridge part may sink into the pavement.

Hello!

What, is the cement used on the highways in those other five states harder than the cement used here in our state?

So here's the gist of the situation: The Department of Transportation orders the bridge part; the DOT has the bridge part shipped here, but then the DOT won't let it in.

God I love bureaucracy!

Anyway, the bridge part's been sitting outside Spokane for several days now, at a cost of about $100,000 a day.

No one has a clue as to what to do.

I think the answer's simple: Just build the darn bridge right there and just let DOT charge a little more for the toll.

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July 2011

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