Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

BNSF Hauser Facility: Links to the Builder and the Fixer

James Hagengruber's article Depot flaws uncovered in the March 19, 2005, Spokesman-Review reported that the original construction of the BNSF refueling facility at Hauser was done by Hanson-Wilson, Inc., an engineering company based in Kansas City, Missouri. Hanson-Wilson has focused its business on "serving the needs of the railroad industry" with a wide range of capabilities.

Hanson-Wilson's website touts its contribution to the Hauser Mainline Fueling Facility in Hauser, Idaho. Its interesting to note that the Hauser facility was an award winner. It's also interesting that a website review of Hanson-Wilson's railroad projects suggests that BNSF has been a major long-term client.

We would like to know if the Kootenai County Board of County Commissioners had negotiated a contractual right of inspection at various stages of the Hauser facility's construction. If so, who did the inspections on behalf of the County, and why was the poor plumbing not found during those inspections? If the Commissioners did not prescribe and execute basic plumbing inspections comparable to what every homebuilder must receive, why not?

But Hagengruber's article also reports that the feverish repair work is not being done by Hanson-Wilson, Inc. The repairs are being coordinated by another company, TKDA, an engineering company based in St. Paul, Minnesota. TKDA does have some background with rail facilities, but its website information is sparse. The TKDA website does not disclose any long-term affiliation with BNSF.

It will be interesting to see if TKDA's repairs hold up better than Hanson-Wilson's original, "award winning" construction. We hope so. We also hope that the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners is using competent, qualified, independent inspectors to check TKDA's repairs.


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