SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) — Bonner County commissioners in northern Idaho are asking federal officials to allow public involvement in a railroad company's plan to build a second bridge across Lake Pend Oreille to handle an expected increase in traffic that includes coal and oil trains.

The Sandpoint-based Bonner County Daily Bee reports ( that commissioners are asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to let local residents make comments on Burlington Northern Santa Fe's bridge plan.

The 109-year-old bridge now at Sandpoint handles about one train every half-hour, a bottleneck for BNSF's busy Hi-Line that connects the Pacific Northwest to the Midwest.

BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas says a modern companion bridge could be installed by 2018.

But some residents worry about noise and potential train wrecks involving volatile crude oil.