TONASKET – The Chamber of Commerce heard a presentation about the reasons for the Janis Bridge closure and construction during their meeting on Tuesday, June 9.
The presentation, given by Washington State Department of Transportation Engineer Dustin Vaughn, also included the efforts the agency has taken to ensure that travelers know Tonasket businesses are still open despite the detour from Highway 97 to Highway 7.
“I was asked why the DOT was doing this project now and the answer is a financial one,” Vaughn said. “The project has a hard start date of June 15 which means they’ll start posting the closure signs at Ellisforde, but people don’t have to get onto Highway 7 until Fourth Street. There are 30 working days for this project and July 27 is the last day. We’ve added a few signs, black writing on bright orange, to say “Tonasket businesses open’.”
After hearing this, Alice Attwood, city clerk, suggested placing these signs not just on Highway 7 for travelers on the detour, but also at Ellisforde, to let travelers know before they get onto Highway 7 that Tonasket businesses are still open.