Rethink rail route

Geography has been kind to Grays Harbor with its forest, ocean, waterways and great harbor. Yet some think we’re at the end of the world. The map shows otherwise. We’re an inlet and outlet of the world that’s gaining importance because of trade.

Our harbor is a jewel that should be developed carefully with input from all sides. We must correct the surrounding infrastructure for efficiency, harmony and balance.

East Aberdeen is a choking point with its constricted corridor. Railroad cars frequently block emergency vehicles and highway traffic has been backed up for miles on their way to beach events.

The railroad should be rerouted from Junction City to South Aberdeen, crossing under the Chehalis Bridge approach, continuing west, while branching off and crossing the river where the old railroad bridge was. This would remove the choking point and create new industrial sites.

The highway should continue through East Aberdeen to Heron Street and the Chehalis Bridge approach with a branch going west to State Street and continuing to the industrial route and over the Hoquiam River to the Ocean Shores highway.

The highway going east on State Street would still use the existing ramp to South Aberdeen with a new branch of the highway going to the south of the ramp to East Aberdeen.

Routing heavy traffic away from the center of town will improve its flow, allowing for friendlier two-way streets and angle parking such as Aberdeen’s Broadway Street. We need to bring back our town center where we can come together as a community.

Tourism would improve with a better flow of traffic to and between the beaches. We have much to offer in natural beauty and things to explore.

Financing should be do-able in combination through the state, the Feds, the railroad company and a little known law in which foreigners can invest $500,000 in exchange for permanent residence.

These thoughts and ideas are general in scope, meant to motivate. It would be nice to get off the dime and build a foundation for the future. We’ve been stuck too long.

David R. Furford