Gov. Gregoire won’t name task force to investigate $58.8 million graving yard snafu; wants public meetings instead

Gov. Christine Gregoire won’t name a task force to investigate the closing of the Hood Canal Bridge graving yard in Port Angeles — and the loss of $58.8 million.

She will leave taxpayer questions about what happened to the state Department of Transportation, which managed the project, Gregoire spokesman Jerry Gilliland said Thursday.

Gilliland said that despite positive feedback from city and tribal officials and state legislators about setting up a governor’s task force, Gregoire decided on a more public-meeting-based approach — and wants Transportation and the commission that runs it to answer what went wrong.

“The thinking is that the next step is for a public meeting to talk about all the concerns including the whole $59 million expenditure and how it could have occurred,” Gilliland said.

“It’s my understanding the Transportation Commission will hold a public meeting in Port Angeles.”

But Transportation Commission Executive Assistant Pam Boyd said late Thursday no such meeting was planned.

“We don’t have anything even in the works,” she said.

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