WA Gov. Gregoire, tribe announce settlement over Indian burial site

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PORT ANGELES - Washington state will pay more than $17 million to tribal and local officials to settle lingering disputes over the state's accidental disturbance of an ancient American Indian village and burial ground.

The settlement, announced Monday by Gov. Chris Gregoire, ends litigation surrounding the state Department of Transportation's abandoned bridge project and gives the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe control over most of the site.

Work on concrete pontoons for a Hood Canal bridge project stopped in 2003 after officials discovered human remains in the area. Construction resumed less than a year later, but was halted for good in December 2004.

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