The Mt. Adams Sun, Bingen, WA., December 11, 1936, page 1
SUKSDORF HAS VIEWS ON ROAD
Is there really such a thing as highway situation. Let
us analyze the matter.
White Salmon and Glenwood want the Mt. Adams highway. Goldendale doesn't want either the Mt. Adams highway or the North Bank highway. Bingen is not opposed to the Mt. Adams highway, but desires the North bank highway, being more important and should be built first, so do all the tourists and travelers on the Columbia from Pasco to the sea. Now let us consider the general benefit to the public of the two routes.
The Mt. Adams highway would benefit Glenwood and White Salmon, hardly anyone else. It is claimed it would be a shorter route from Yakima to the Columbia. It may be true from Yakima but is it true from Toppenish and the larger Yakima valley. The summit between Yakima and Klickitat county is somewhere about 4,000 feet altitude, while the Satus Pass is about 3,000 feet. Again the Mt. Adams road comes closer to Mt. Adams where it snows considerable more and will be considerable deeper, so that the road would be blocked four or five months during the year. The Mt. Adams highway would be more of a tourist road, but how many tourists, coming from the east would go to Yakima and then take the Mt. Adams road to the Columbia. It is very doubtful that many would do so. Therefore, would the State or Federal Government appropriate any money for such a slim prospects, hardly.
On the other hand what about the North Bank highway. True this route would hardly benefit White Salmon, Trout Lake and Glenwood, except the Mt. Adams National Park should be established. Goldendale, as it is situated would not benefit by either route, but don't you think that it is either selfish to approve either? We all know that during the winter the roads over the Cascade are more or less blocked, or dangerous to travel and the traffic must come down the Columbia. Where does it go down? To the Oregon side down the Columbia. But this is not only the case in winter but more or less to all the year round. Would anyone think a traveler coming from the east would go by the Satus Pass or the Mt. Adams route, when he can have a water grade highway down the Columbia on the Oregon side? Certainly not. The tourist travel in the northwest is increasing from year to year. Just one instance will show this: From October 1, 1935 to September 30, 1936 there were 317,345 visitors to Mt. Rainier National Park, while during the same period the previous year the visitors were 239,309, an increase of 32.61 per cent.
Why should so many of these tourists be forced to take the Columbia highway and Oregon receive the benefit where we in Washington can have a far better highway. Yes, many tourists coming by the Oregon Trail would prefer the Evergreen highway. An again, would anyone think that the farmers of the lower Yakima valley would use the Satus Pass road when they had a water grade highway down the Columbia and not any farther. Summing up the situation, the North Bank highway would be the road taken by all eastern Washington wishing to go to Portland and the seashore. It would help many citizens from beyond Pasco and Kennewick, it would help the state at large keeping the traveling public in its borders. Can there be a question which highway gives the most benefit to the general public? The might Columbia is the outlet from the Inland Empire to the sea and therefore the North Bank highway will and must be built. You can't beat nature.
© Jeffrey L. Elmer