TILLAMOOK Before committing funds to repair the Port of Tillamook’s massively damaged rail line, Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s office has asked the port and the area’s largest employers to examine other ways of moving freight out of Tillamook County.
There is no timeline for when the task force will present options, but port director Robert Van Borssum stressed the necessity for speed due to the mounting trucking costs being borne by the Hampton, Stimson and Weyerhaeuser lumber mills and the Tillamook Valley Nutrition Feed Mill.
The December storm caused an estimated $20 million in damage to the rail line, and the port laid off 17 of its 21 employees. Alternatives to repairing the railroad could include using coastal barging to move freight or building a new line to connect the port to a line in Astoria.
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