Second Rail Bridge Community Meeting


Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), RADAR, and allied, indigenous and climate activists are hosting a community meeting to discuss and design resistance to Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) plans for a second, parallel, rail bridge over Lake Pend Oreille and associated, potentially illegal, temporary ramps and heavy equipment on public lands and pile driven, load bearing tests in the lake, starting on Monday, May 1.  Concerned, regional citizens are welcome to participate from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on Thursday, May 4, in Rooms 103 and 104 of the East Bonner County Library, 1407 Cedar Street in Sandpoint, Idaho.

Predictably in conservative, small, Idaho towns, direct action seems our only recourse, without any public input opportunities, or even information, about the permitting processes for these railroad invasions impacting water and air quality and community noise levels and access to public lands and waters.  Photos of a BNSF ad in the Sunday, April 30, Bonner County Daily Bee bear logistical information about rail bridge work already underway [1].  WIRT website and facebook event pages will soon expand this announcement to provide further issue, meeting, and protest information.

Also on this May Day, the second, Sandpoint area, train derailment in one and a half months occurred around 6 am, on BNSF tracks paralleling U.S. Highway 95, less than 13 rail miles west of the current and proposed, 4800-foot, rail bridges over Lake Pend Oreille [2].  About 25 scattered, mangled cars of a presumably westbound, unit, corn train left the straight rail line in front of Valley Vista Ranch near Cocolalla, north of Highway 95 milepost 460.  On March 17, an eastbound, empty, unit, coal train derailed between Ponderay and Kootenai, only three rail miles east of the lake rail bridge.

[1] Second Rail Bridge Community Meeting, May 1, 2017 Wild Idaho Rising Tide facebook photo

[2] The Second, Sandpoint Area, Train Derailment…, May 1, 2017 Wild Idaho Rising Tide facebook photo

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