Question: I often walk along the Scott Pierson Trail, which parallels westbound Highway 16 along the Sprague Avenue on-ramp.
Last year, when the state redid that ramp, they did a massive landscaping job, blowing tons of beauty bark and planting thousands of native plants.
Now the whole bank is becoming overgrown with weeds. The blackberries vines are back, and in one spot there's a 9-foot high thicket of Japanese knotweed that sprang up over the summer.
Is the Transportation Department aware of this? If so, what are they going to do about it? -- James, Kent
Answer: The Transportation Department knows about it now, thanks to you.
According to Claudia Bingham Baker, communications manager for the departments Olympic Region, landscaping along that stretch is the responsibility of the eastbound Nalley Valley contractor (Mowat Construction), which installed the landscaping as part of its contract.
"The contractor is responsible for plant establishment and weeding activities for three years after the new plants are planted," Bingham Baker said. "We will discuss your readers concerns with the contractors team. Please thank the reader for bringing the issue to our attention."
When the three-year plant-establishment period ends, state highway crews will take over plant-maintenance responsibilities, Bingham Baker said.