Highway Closures Troubling for Truckers and Farmers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Highway Closures Troubling for Truckers and Farmers

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- The Mile Marker 28 Fire closed a major highway, which created an issue for truckers who transport products between Central Washington and Oregon.

It took longer than expected to get around the Highway 97 closures, and the extra time meant lost money for everyone including truckers, farmers and even higher costs for customers.

With the highway closed for almost two weeks during the fire, getting from point A to point B in central and lower Washington was hard to do, especially for truckers transporting perishable foods.

"We are expected to make those deliveries by any means possible," said trucker, Bruce Graham.

And it all comes down to money.  Both truckers and farmers in the valley know that the longer the food is on the truck the more it will cost customers.

"It would cause an impact because you do have longer routes, you're paying for fuel, everything all adds into the equation that increases the price," said local farmer, John Thompson.

"They are required to make their deliveries, so they have to take detours and sometimes that adds up to 100 miles on the trip, so that's increased the cost to the company with no compensation from the customer," Graham said.

Thompson said this year, even with the road closures, truckers are still delivering on time.

"It even may take them a couple hours longer, but I don't think it impacted the industry any," Thompson said.

For truckers, all they can do is be patient and do the best they can.

"It's just inconvenient, very inconvenient," Graham said

Now Highway 97 is open again, and the fire is almost totally contained.

Luckily farmers said they are not seeing too much trouble now that things are under control.

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