The BNSF Railway Company is the largest freight railroad network in North America. One of eight North American Class I railroads, BNSF has 44,000 employees, 32,500 miles of track in 28 states, more than 8,000 locomotives, it has three transcontinental routes that provide rail connections between the western and eastern United States. BNSF trains traveled over 169 million miles in 2010, more than any other North American railroad; the BNSF and Union Pacific have a duopoly on all transcontinental freight rail lines in the Western U. S. and share trackage rights over thousands of miles of track. The BNSF Railway Company is the principal operating subsidiary of parent company Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC. Headquartered in Fort Worth, the railroad's parent company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. According to corporate press releases, the BNSF Railway is among the top transporters of intermodal freight in North America, it hauls bulk cargo, including enough coal to generate around ten per cent of the electricity produced in the United States.
The creation of BNSF started with the formation of a holding company on September 22, 1995. This new holding company purchased the Atchison and Santa Fe Railway and Burlington Northern Railroad, formally merged the railways into the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway on December 31, 1996. On January 24, 2005, the railroad's name was changed to BNSF Railway Company using the initials of its original name. On November 3, 2009, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway announced it would acquire the remaining 77.4 percent of BNSF it did not own for $100 per share in cash and stock — a deal valued at $44 billion. The company is acquiring $10 billion in debt. On February 12, 2010, shareholders of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation voted in favor of the acquisition. BNSF's history dates back to 1849, when the Aurora Branch Railroad in Illinois and the Pacific Railroad of Missouri were formed; the Aurora Branch grew into the Chicago and Quincy Railroad, a major component of successor Burlington Northern.
A portion of the Pacific Railroad became the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway; the Atchison and Santa Fe Railway was chartered in 1859. It built one of the first transcontinental railroads in North America, linking Chicago and Southern California; the Interstate Commerce Commission denied a proposed merger with the Southern Pacific Transportation Company in the 1980s. The Burlington Northern Railroad was created in 1970 through the consolidation of the Chicago and Quincy Railroad, the Great Northern Railway, the Northern Pacific Railway and the Spokane and Seattle Railway, it absorbed the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway in 1980, its main lines included Chicago-Seattle with branches to Texas and Montgomery and access to the low-sulfur coal of Wyoming's Powder River Basin. On June 30, 1994, BN and ATSF announced plans to merge. S. Class I railroads; the long-rumored announcement was delayed by a disagreement over the disposition of Santa Fe Pacific Gold Corporation, a gold mining subsidiary that ATSF agreed to sell to stockholders.
This announcement began the next wave of mergers, as the "Super Seven" were merged down to four in the next five years. The Illinois Central Railroad and Kansas City Southern Railway, two of the five "small" Class Is, announced on July 19 that the former would buy the latter, but this plan was called off on October 25; the Union Pacific Railroad, another major Western system, started a bidding war with BN for control of the SF on October 5. The UP gave up on January 1995, paving the way for the BN-ATSF merger. Subsequently, the UP acquired the Southern Pacific Transportation Company in 1996, Eastern systems CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway split Conrail in 1999. On February 7, 1995, BN and ATSF heads Gerald Grinstein and Robert D. Krebs both announced shareholders had approved the plan, which would save overhead costs and combine BN's coal and ATSF's intermodal strengths. Although the two systems complemented each other with little overlap, in contrast to the Santa Fe-Southern Pacific merger, which failed because it would have eliminated competition in many areas of the Southwest, BN and ATSF came to agreements with most other Class Is to keep them from opposing the merger.
UP was satisfied with a single segment of trackage rights from Abilene, Kansas to Superior, which BN and ATSF had both served. KCS gained haulage rights to several Midwest locations, including Omaha, East St. Louis, Memphis, in exchange for BNSF getting similar access to New Orleans. SP requesting far-reaching trackage rights throughout the West, soon agreed on a reduced plan, whereby SP acquired trackage rights on ATSF for intermodal and automotive traffic to Chicago, other trackage rights on ATSF in Kansas, south to Texas, between Colorado and Texas. In exchange, SP assigned BNSF trackage rights over the former Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad between El Paso and Topeka and haulage rights to the Mexican border at Eagle Pass, Texas. Regional Toledo and Western Railway obtained trackage rights over BN from Peoria to Galesburg, Illinois, a BN hub where it could interchange with SP; the Interstate Commerce Commission approved the BNSF merger on July 20, 1995, less than a month before UP announced on August
In geography, a confluence occurs where two or more flowing bodies of water join together to form a single channel. A confluence can occur in several configurations: at the point where a tributary joins a larger river. Confluences are studied in a variety of sciences. Hydrology studies the characteristic flow patterns of confluences and how they give rise to patterns of erosion and scour pools; the water flows and their consequences are studied with mathematical models. Confluences are relevant to the distribution of living organisms as well; the United States Geological Survey gives an example: "chemical changes occur when a stream contaminated with acid mine drainage combines with a stream with near-neutral pH water. According to Lynch, "the color of each river is determined by many things: type and amount of vegetation in the watershed, geological properties, dissolved chemicals and biologic content – algae." Lynch notes that color differences can persist for miles downstream before they blend completely.
Hydrodynamic behaviour of flow in a confluence can be divided into six distinct features which are called confluence flow zones. These include Stagnation zone Flow deflection zone Flow separation zone / recirculation zone Maximum velocity zone Flow recovery zone Shear layers Since rivers serve as political boundaries, confluences sometimes demarcate three abutting political entities, such as nations, states, or provinces, forming a tripoint. Various examples are found in the list below. A number of major cities, such as Chongqing, St. Louis, Khartoum, arose at confluences. Within a city, a confluence forms a visually prominent point, so that confluences are sometimes chosen as the site of prominent public buildings or monuments, as in Koblenz and Winnipeg. Cities often build parks at confluences, sometimes as projects of municipal improvement, as at Portland and Pittsburgh. In other cases, a confluence is an industrial site, as in Mannheim. A confluence lies in the shared floodplain of the two rivers and nothing is built on it, for example at Manaus, described below.
One other way that confluences may be employed by humans is as a sacred place in a religion. Rogers suggests that for the ancient peoples of the Iron Age in northwest Europe, watery locations were sacred sources and confluences. Pre-Christian Slavic peoples chose confluences as the sites for fortified triangular temples, where they practiced human sacrifice and other sacred rites. In Hinduism, the confluence of two sacred rivers is a pilgrimage site for ritual bathing. In Pittsburgh, a number of adherents to Mayanism consider their city's confluence to be sacred. At Lokoja, the Benue River flows into the Niger. At Kazungula in Zambia, the Chobe River flows into the Zambezi; the confluence defines the tripoint of Zambia and Namibia. The land border between Botswana and Zimbabwe to the east reaches the Zambezi at this confluence, so there is a second tripoint only 150 meters downstream from the first. See Kazungula and Quadripoint, Gallery below for image; the Sudanese capital of Khartoum is located at the confluence of the White Nile and the Blue Nile, the beginning of the Nile.
82 km north of Basra in Iraq at the town of Al-Qurnah is the confluence of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, forming the Shatt al-Arab. At Devprayag in India, the Ganges River originates at the confluence of the Bhagirathi and the Alaknanda. Near Allahabad, the Yamuna flows into the Ganges. In Hinduism, this is a pilgrimage site for ritual bathing. In Hindu belief the site is held to be a triple confluence, the third river being the metaphysical Sarasvati. Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, is where the Gombak River flows into the Klang River at the site of the Jamek Mosque; the Kolam Biru, a pool with elaborate fountains, has been installed at the apex of the confluence. The Nam Khan River flows into the Mekong at Luang Prabang in Laos; the Jialing flows into the Yangtze at Chongqing in China. The confluence forms a focal point in the city, marked by Chaotianmen Square, built in 1998. In the Far East, the Amur forms the international boundary between Russia; the Ussuri, which demarcates the border, flows into the Amur at a point midway between Fuyuan in China and Khabarovsk in Russia.
The apex of the confluence is located in a rural area, part of China, where a commemorative park, Dongji Square, has been built.
Washington State Route 970
State Route 970 is a 10.31-mile-long state highway serving rural Kittitas County in the U. S. state of Washington. The highway connects Cle Elum to Blewett Pass and begins at an interchange with Interstate 90 in Cle Elum. Traveling east, SR 970 intersects SR 903 north of the interchange and SR 10 in Teanaway before ending at U. S. Route 97 in Virden; the highway was first added to the state highway system in 1909 as part of the Snoqualmie Pass Road and State Road 7. It was signed as the Sunset Highway in 1913 and State Road 2 in 1923 before becoming part of US 97 and US 10. State Road 2 became Primary State Highway 2 in 1937 and was replaced by US 97 during the 1964 highway renumbering. US 97 was realigned onto SR 131 between Thorp and Virden in 1975 and SR 970 was created on the former route. SR 970 begins at a diamond interchange with I-90 southeast of Cle Elum; the highway travels northeast and crosses over a BNSF rail line before intersecting SR 903, another highway that travels into Downtown Cle Elum.
SR 970 turns southeast to intersect SR 903 Spur and continues out of Cle Elum and towards Teanaway, following the rail line and the Yakima River upstream. The highway intersects SR 10 south of De Vere Field and continues as a two-lane roadway northeast following the Teanaway River to Virden known as Lauderdale Junction, where SR 970 ends at an intersection with US 97; every year, the Washington State Department of Transportation conducts a series of surveys on its highways in the state to measure traffic volume. This is expressed in terms of average annual daily traffic, a measure of traffic volume for any average day of the year. In 2011, WSDOT calculated that between 2,800 and 5,600 vehicles per day used the highway in the Cle Elum area. SR 970 is designated as a part of the National Highway System and as a Highway of Statewide Significance, which includes principal arterials that are needed to connect major communities in the state. SR 970 was first defined under law to be built and paved by the state of Washington in 1909 as part of the Snoqualmie Pass Road, signed as State Road 7, between Snoqualmie Pass and Blewett Pass.
The highway was renamed to the Sunset Highway in 1913 and became State Road 2 during a 1923 restructuring of the state highway system. State Road 2 became concurrent with US 10 from Cle Elum to Teanaway and US 97 from Cle Elum to Virden after the creation of the United States Numbered Highways in 1926. State Road 2 became PSH 2 during the creation of the Primary and secondary state highways in 1937 and US 10 was moved onto US 97 over Blewett Pass in the late 1930s. US 10 was moved to its original route in 1946. After the 1964 highway renumbering, PSH 2 was removed from the highway system and replaced with US 97. US 10 was replaced with SR 10 in 1970 and US 97 was moved east on SR 131 in 1975, constructed two years prior to the realignment. SR 970 was established on the former route of US 97 in 1975 and repairs to the highway were needed with WSDOT deciding against dropping the designation from the state highway system and turning over the highway to Kittitas County in 1985. No major revisions to the route of SR 970 have occurred since 1975.
The entire highway is in Kittitas County. Highways of Washington State
Washington State Department of Transportation
The Washington State Department of Transportation was established in 1905. The agency, led by a Secretary and overseen by the Governor, is a Washington governmental agency that constructs and regulates the use of the state's transportation infrastructure. WSDOT is responsible for more than 20,000 lane-miles of roadway, nearly 3,000 vehicular bridges and 524 other structures; this infrastructure includes rail lines, state highways, state ferries and state airports WSDOT was founded as the Washington State Highway Board and the Washington State Highways Department on March 13, 1905, when then-governor Albert Mead signed a bill that gave $110,000 USD to fund new roads that linked the state. The State Highway Board was managed by State Treasurer, State Auditor, Highway Commissioner Joseph M. Snow and the Board first met on April 17, 1905 to plan the 12 original state roads; the first state highway districts, each managed by a District Engineer, were established in 1918. During this period, the construction of highways began.
In 1921, the State Highway Board was replaced by the Washington Highway Committee and the Washington State Highways Department became a division of the Washington State Department of Public Works. The first gas tax was levied and Homer Hadley started planning a pontoon bridge across Lake Washington, which would become the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge, which opened on July 2, 1940. In 1923, the State Highways Department separated from the Public Works Department and organized the first official system of highways, Washington's state road system. In 1926, the U. S. government approved the U. S. route system. 11 U. S. Routes entered Washington at the time. In 1929, the Highway Committee was merged with the State Highways Department; the Lake Washington Floating Bridge and the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge opened in 1940. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed because of winds on November 7, 1940, earning it the name Galloping Gertie. On June 29, 1956, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, which started the Interstate Highway System.
2 Interstates entered Washington. Starting in 1961, the Interstate Highways started to be built. There were 2 more Interstates to build and most work was not completed until the 1970s. In 1964, the Highways Department was renamed to WSDOT and the state highways were renumbered to the current system. Metro Transit was created in 1972 and work on highways continued fast; the North Cascades Highway was completed in 1972 and the first HOV lanes in Washington were installed on SR 520 in 1972. The Washington State Transportation Commission was established in 1977 and the first meeting was held on September 21, 1977. On February 13, 1979, the western pontoons of the Hood Canal Bridge were swept away by a wind storm. In 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted and caused damage to many state highways SR 504; the Hood Canal Replacement Bridge opened on October 3, 1982 and the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge collapsed on November 25, 1990. In 1991, a smaller renumbering of state highways occurred; the renumbering produced either realigned or removed highways from the system.
In 1996, Sound Transit was formed and in the same year, the Washington State Transportation Commission adopted its first 20-year transportation plan. Throughout the 1990s, WSDOT focused more and more on rail systems and partnered with Amtrak to make a train route that went from Canada to Oregon, which would become the Amtrak Cascades; the 2001 Nisqually earthquake damaged most state highways around the Seattle metropolitan area and most of the budget was turned over to the Puget Sound region to help rebuild and repair roads and bridges. WSDOT divides Washington into 6 regions, the Olympic, Northwest Southwest, North Central, South Central, Eastern; the Northwest Region is further divided into 3 more regions, which are King County, Snohomish County, Baker. WSDOT is overseen by the Governor of Washington, who appoints a Secretary of Transportation, confirmed by the state legislature; the last Secretary of Transportation was Lynn Peterson, who served on an interim basis until February 5, 2016, when her appointment under Governor Jay Inslee was rejected by the Washington State Senate during the confirmation process.
Deputy Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar was appointed as Acting Secretary of Transportation by Governor Inslee on February 10, 2016. WSDOT manages the official ferry service in Washington. WSDOT's ferry service, called Washington State Ferries, is the largest in the United States and third largest in the world. Ferries had been in the Puget Sound since the 1950s. There are 10 routes and 22 ferries operating. WSDOT began operating the Travel Washington intercity Bus program in 2007. There are four lines: Grape Line, from Pasco to Walla Walla, operated by Airporter Shuttle/Bellair Charters Dungeness Line, from Port Angeles to Seattle, operated by Olympic Bus Lines. Apple Line, from Omak to Ellensburg via Wenatchee, operated by Northwestern Trailways Gold Line, from Kettle Falls to Spokane, operated by Airporter Shuttle/Bellair Charters There are about 250 projects that WSDOT is planning or constructing; some of the most notable projects that were finished include the Tacoma Narrows Bridge project, which built a second bridge adjacent to the original bridge, the SR 167 HOT lanes project, which added HOT lanes over SR 167's existing HOV lanes from the SR 18 area to 180th Street, the I-5 HOV extensions project, which extended the HOV lanes in Everett from the I-5/SR 99/SR 526/SR 527 interchange to the I-5/US 2/SR 529 Spur interchange.
Some of th
Blewett Pass, at an elevation of 4,124 feet, is a mountain pass in the Wenatchee Mountains of Washington state, crossed by U. S. Route 97. Named for Edward Blewett, a Seattle mining promoter of the 1880s, it lies on the route of the historical Yellowstone Trail. Unlike the many well known passes that lie on the spine of the Cascades, Blewett Pass lies on the divide between the Wenatchee River to the north and the Yakima River to the south; the highway over the pass connects Interstate 90 between Seattle and Ellensburg, Washington with US 2 between Monroe and Wenatchee. The route from Seattle to Wenatchee over Snoqualmie Pass and Blewett Pass is a reasonable alternative to the more northerly route over Stevens Pass. What is now called Blewett Pass was known as Swauk Pass, it should not be confused with Old Blewett Pass, about 5 miles west of the current summit at the lower elevation of 4,064 feet. Swauk was renamed to Blewett Pass in the 1960s after the completion of a new highway alignment for US 97, with locals preferring to keep the old name.
The old pass road is Forest Road 9715 and Forest Road 7320. The road closes for the winter. Notify the Forest Service in the Wenatchee National Forest before taking the road upon re-opening in the warmer months. Blewett Pass road conditions International Road Trip Enthusiasts Association: Old Blewett Pass Toure de Old Blewett Road U. S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Blewett Pass
Interstate 90 in Washington
Interstate 90 is a transcontinental Interstate Highway that runs from Seattle, Washington, to Boston, Massachusetts. It crosses Washington state from west to east, traveling 298 miles from Seattle across the Cascade Mountains and into Eastern Washington, reaching the Idaho state line east of Spokane. I-90 intersects several major north–south highways, including I-5 in Seattle, I-82 and U. S. Route 97 near Ellensburg, US 395 and US 2 in Spokane. I-90 is the only Interstate to cross the state from west to east, the only one to connect the state's two largest cities and Spokane, it incorporates two of the longest floating bridges in the world, the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge and the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge, which cross Lake Washington from Seattle to Mercer Island. I-90 crosses the Cascades at Snoqualmie Pass, one of the busiest mountain pass highways in the United States, uses a series of viaducts and structures to navigate the terrain; the freeway travels across various landscapes, including suburban bedroom communities in the Seattle metropolitan area, forests of the Cascade Range, the high plains of the Columbia Plateau.
The crossing at Snoqualmie Pass was established as a wagon road in 1867 and incorporated into a cross-state auto trail, known as the Sunset Highway, in the early 1910s. The Sunset Highway was incorporated into the national highway system in 1926 as part of US 10, which I-90 replaced when it was designated in 1957; the first segments of the freeway, located in Spokane and Spokane Valley, opened at around the same time and the state government completed upgrades of US 10 to Interstate standards for most of the route by the late 1970s. The section of I-90 between Seattle and I-405 in Bellevue was delayed for decades because of environmental concerns and lawsuits by local groups over the freeway's potential impact on nearby neighborhoods. A compromise agreement was reached by the federal and local governments in 1976 to build a second floating bridge across Lake Washington and include extensive parks above tunneled sections of I-90, which were completed in the early 1990s; the new floating bridge opened in 1989 and carried bi-directional traffic while the original floating bridge was renovated.
The old bridge's center pontoons sank during a November 1990 windstorm due to a contractor error and were rebuilt over the following three years, reopening to traffic on September 12, 1993, marking the completion of the transcontinental highway. Interstate 90 is the longest freeway in Washington state, at nearly 298 miles in length, is the only Interstate to traverse the state from west to east across the Cascade Mountains, it is listed as part of the National Highway System, classifying important to the national economy and mobility, the state's Highway of Statewide Significance program, recognizing its connection to major communities. A 100-mile section of I-90 between Seattle and Thorp named the Mountains to Sound Greenway was designated in 1998 as a National Scenic Byway, in recognition of its scenic views. I-90 is maintained by the Washington State Department of Transportation, who conduct an annual survey of traffic volume, expressed in terms of average annual daily traffic, a measure of traffic volume for any average day of the year.
A section of I-90 in Bellevue's Eastgate neighborhood carries a daily average of 150,000 vehicles, making it the highway's busiest. The highway's least busiest section, near SR 21 west of Ritzville, carried 11,000 vehicles in 2016; the freeway has a maximum speed limit of 60 miles per hour in urban areas, 65 mph in mountainous areas, 70 mph in rural areas. Several proposals to raise the speed limit of the rural section between Vantage and Spokane to 75 mph have been submitted and denied by the state government due to safety concerns. I-90 begins at the intersection of Edgar Martinez Drive South and 4th Avenue South in the SoDo neighborhood south of Downtown Seattle; the interchange is adjacent to T-Mobile Park, home to the Seattle Mariners baseball team, includes a pair of ramps to SR 519 and an additional offramp to 4th Avenue South north of Royal Brougham Way and near CenturyLink Field. The ramps converge over the Stadium light rail station adjacent to King County Metro's bus bases and are joined by the bus-only express lane ramps from the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel and 5th Avenue in the International District.
I-90 travels east through a major interchange with I-5 at the northwest corner of Beacon Hill and passes under the Jose Rizal Bridge. The freeway wraps around the north end of Beacon Hill and intersects Rainier Avenue at the site of the future Judkins Park light rail station, joined by a multi-use bicycle and pedestrian trail that forms part of the Mountains to Sound Greenway; the express lanes terminate after Rainier Avenue, having been permanently closed for East Link light rail construction, I-90 travels east into the Mount Baker Tunnel under the Central District. The tunnels, which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, run under Sam Smith Park and the Mount Baker Ridge neighborhood to Lake Washington, where traffic continues onto a pair of floating bridges; the eastbound lanes are carried by the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge, while the westbound lanes, multi-use trail, future light rail tracks are carried by the wider Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge; the two floating bridges connect Seattle to the Eastside suburbs and are among the longest in the world, at 5,811 feet and 6,603 feet in length, respectively.
From the east end of the bridge, I-90 continues onto Mercer Island and travels under the Mercer Island Lid, a landscaped park built atop a curved section of the freeway between West Mercer Way