$16M may not fix mudslide problem on rail tracks



EVERETT, Wash. - With continued rain in the forecast, there could be more mudslides between Seattle and Everett, making it a difficult trip for commuters who rely on trains to get to work.


Riders know that during this time of year, mudslides are a huge problem and the cancelations and delays caused by the slides impact ridership on the train.


But the state Department of Transportation has $16 million of federal money to help fix the problem.


WSDOT will work with the owners of the rail to do preventative work on the Everett to Seattle portion of the rail that’s the most prone to mudslides.


Plans include building small catchment walls, basins and deeper ditches.


But a rail program manager told the Daily Herald the problem isn't the just slopes, but the runoff from developed areas above the rail line.


 That transportation manager said the $16 million isn't going to fix that problem.


Last week, record rainfall caused more than 20 mudslides and shut down trains between Everett and Seattle for nearly all of Thanksgiving week.


Since the tracks opened in 2003, there have been hundreds of mudslides.  One of the biggest issues is that after a mudslide there's always a 48-hour waiting period before commuter trains can run again.


The new construction is scheduled to start in mid to late 2014.