Wednesday, November 20, 2002
On Jan. 1, the cost of crossing the Bridge of the Gods will go up — unless drivers go buy the book.
The Port of Cascade Locks Board of Commissioners approved increasing the tolls for single-trips by automobiles, and for commercial vehicles and motor homes, following a staff recommendation at its Nov. 4 meeting.
Rates for commercial trucks and busses will increase from 75 cents per axle to $1 per axle. Motor homes and dual-wheeled pickups will increase from $1.50 to $2 per crossing.
The bridge has not had a toll rate change since 1992, while the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has increased almost 30 percent in the past 10 years, according to Port officials.
The toll for automobiles will remain at 75 cents per crossing with the purchase of an automobile coupon book. The books cost $15 for 20 coupons and $30 for 40 coupons. The charge for automobiles crossing without the pre-purchased coupons will be $1 per crossing, up from 75 cents. This pricing strategy allows drivers to save money by purchasing coupon books in advance, according to Port officials. Automobile customers are encouraged to purchase coupon books in advance, which decreases administrative cost. The books are available at the Bridge of the Gods’ tollbooth or at the Port office, located in Marine Park in Cascade Locks. All current automobile books in circulation will be honored.
The decision to increase the tariff for these vehicles is based upon the fact that the heavier loads increase wear and tear of the structure, which in turn drives up overall maintenance cost, according to Port officials. The Port operates the Bridge of the Gods, the Sternwheeler “Columbia Gorge,” Marine Park, Cascade Locks Business Park and the Port of Cascade Locks Marina.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge