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Originally published Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 5:56 AM

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Just call it the Department O’ Truckin’

The Wrap by Ron Judd

Seattle Times staff columnist

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The primary fault with the WDOT was the failure to note the bridge has two clearance is... MORE
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The Wrap’s weekly What, Me Worry? Award in the ongoing Skagit Bridge debacle goes once again to (faint drumroll) the state Department O’ Truckin’, which continues to act completely bent out of shape anytime someone dares challenge the wisdom of its ingenious “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rule on oversize loads.

Step right up, Lars Erickson, a DOT spokesman who spoke to The Times about a new bill, surely to be remembered as the DUH Act of 2013, that would bar the DOT from issuing permits to move loads that are higher than bridges along their intended path:

“Would you be putting these trucks on county or city bridges, that have even more problems with them?” he asked.

Um, no. Ideally you would have them travel over bridges designed to carry such loads, or — sit down for this — NOT TRAVEL BY ROAD AT ALL. Did we miss the vote on the constitutional amendment that made it a paramount duty of the state to provide a means to transport industrial loads of unlimited size on state highways?

More temporary spanning:

Seriously, Folks: If the DOT wants to relegate itself to being a handmaiden of the trucking industry, it should at least get paid the prevailing look-the-other-way wage. Who is running the DOT anyway, Pete “See No Evil” Carroll?

Meanwhile, on the Banks of the Muddy Skagit: Incredibly, the long awaited debriefing of the suspect Canadian truck driver was still on hold while federal officials frantically searched for a Canadian interpreter.

Pro Tip: Try the milk section at the Costco on George Hopper Road.

Call Me Nostradamus: Predicted first words in statement from Alberta truck driver about what happened at the moment of impact: “So I’m eatin’ my McDonald's ...”

BTW: Introductions are probably in order: Canadian trucker, John Henry Browne. John Henry, Canadian trucker.

Quote of the Week: “We all make mistakes,” says disgraced exiting Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon. True, but usually not involving county subordinates and publicly financed personal lubricants.

Important Weather Note: Let’s hear it for those professional “tornado chasers,” who are out there every day, risking life and limb to provide important scientific data about the nature of the behavior of a true idiot.

Whatever You Say: Reappearing after failing to hijack the Sacramento Kings, hedge funder Chris Hansen reiterated that, gee, he never intended to be a “predator” and steal a team from a city that still wanted it. Clearly all that bid-jacking and other posturing designed to force that exact outcome were conducted by another person who temporarily stole Hansen’s identity.

Speaking of Dubious Merits: Sports types swooned when Seahawks players had a team meeting to discuss rampant suspensions for performance-enhancing drugs, calling it a moment of maturation and sure straightening of the path. Outside-the-sports-bubble translation: A predictable be-more-careful-and-don’t-get-caught session.

And Finally: Mr. Wrap shed a small tear at the passing from the public arena — at least for the moment — of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Eyes of a Dingo, who announced that she wants to spend more time with her pack before embarking on her next hunt. Stay strong, little crazed one.

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at or 206-464-8280.

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About The Wrap / Ron Judd

"The Wrap" appears on Sundays, highlighting the absurd and providing the punch line to the week's news headlines.


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