Local politics, the county, and the world, as viewed by Tammy Maygra
Tammy's views are her own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bill Eagle, his pastor, Tammy's neighbors, Earl Fisher, Betsy Johnson, Joe Corsiglia, President Obama, Tony Hyde, Pat Robertson, Debi Corsiglia's dog, or Claudia Eagle's Cats. This Tammy's Take (with the exception of this disclaimer) is not paid for or written by, or reviewed by anyone but Tammy and she refuses to be bullied by anyone.

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Ironworkers know bridges

The Port Of St. Helens, Columbia County Commissioners, City of St. Helens, and  most importantly Portland and Western(P&W) railroad know that the railroad bridge over Milton Creek is in poor condition. Today retired Ironworker Jamie Maygra made presentations to the local government boards except the Port of St. Helens. Maygra is a 40 year ironworker who has worked on the 2nd Power House at Bonneville Dam, numerous high rises in down town Portland and the PGE buildings well. He also has worked on many bridges and was the Mechanical General Forman for decommissioning at Trojan Nuclear power plant. He was also a Business agent, political coordinator and vice-president for Ironworkers Local 29 which includes the entire state of Oregon and 5 counties in South West Washington.

Maygra's presentation informed the boards of the structural deficiencies of the rail bridge that sits over Milton Creek. The bridge is in poor condition Maygra stated, there is a missing bent in the center splice, which means there is deflection and metal fatigue on the bridge every time a train goes over the bridge. The bridge was built between 1900 and 1920, and is of riveted construction. Maygra also said that the last riveted bridge in Oregon was 1964 and was the Astoria Bridge.

Maygras inspection of the bridge also shown that the bridges rust and corrosion problem was because of poor maintenance which also causes structural deficiencies. There was no indication that P&W had tried to improve on the bridges condition.

Maygra used a report by ODOT rail which indicated that P&W was deficient in their bridge safety reports to ODOT as they are deficient in maintaining their rail system.

Other testimony was given by several other persons who were concerned about the safety of the bridge. Tammy Maygra stated that P&W receives Connect Oregon Funds, which is a taxpayer financed program. Tammy said that if the taxpayers are going to have to finance these programs the money should be used to keep the public safe. And that all train traffic should cease until a new bridge is built. Even if the rail bridge is repaired the bridge will still be considered old and in poor condition because the bridges integrity will be based on the oldest parts.

I believe that the elected officials in Columbia County should be held accountable on this issue and forced to take action against P&W railroad for the safety of county citizens. After all the derailments that have been happening all across the United States and the catastrophic results we cannot take a chance of that happening in St. Helens.
The volatility of the crude oil is huge and an explosion would wipe out residential areas, Walgreens, Ace Hardware and many other businesses along Milton Way one which manufactures ammunition, Columbia BLVD, and all the traffic on HWY 30.

The mentioned boards seem to care little about the evidence that was presented to them, commissioner Hyde said we will pass along the information to P&W. Big deal they already know of the problem because they have instructed their engineers to slow the train down while crossing the bridge to try and prevent any sudden deflection. The city was more interested in who would be financially liable if there was an accident did not seem to care about the deaths it will cause just whom would have to pay for a law suit. That is pathetic.

I say STOP the train traffic and build a new bridge and there won't be any derailments that will kill people. Stop the accident before it happens.


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