West Cascade road work brings more delays starting Monday

Sunny weather on Thursday found a lot of frustrated motorists idling their engines when they encountered road construction on West Cascade Avenue.

And that average 10-minute wait is expected to double next week when the Department of Oregon Transportation begins its final paving work in that area. Adam Markell, project coordinator, said damaged patches of the roadway were repaired on May 1 to ready for the new overlay. He said paving from Fifth Street to the Country Club Road intersection is expected to take about 10 days, unless there are delays brought by poor weather conditions. Immediately after the work is done on that section of the roadway, also known as State Highway 30, a few more days of paving will take place from Front Street in downtown Hood River to the intersection with Highway 35, according to Markell.

If all goes as planned, Markell said road construction along the length of Cascade Avenue will be completed and traffic flows back to normal by May 23.

Meanwhile, business owners along that corridor are remaining upbeat by focusing on the finished product and not on their lost profit margins.

“It’s definitely caused us to be slower but I think it’s a positive step and it’s going to make life a lot easier for us,” said Hoby Streich, owner of Cascade Market and the adjacent car wash.

John Kasberger, branch manager of Columbia River Bank, said foot traffic at the business was much slower than usual on Thursday. However, he said employees took the creative initiative to hang a banner on the back of the bank that alerted motorists to the unimpeded entrance from Wasco Street.

“We regret the inconvenience, but our customers are resourceful and they got their banking done,” said Kasberger.

The situation at Little Bit Ranch Supply was a little more harried, as drivers cut through the parking lot to avoid sitting in traffic backups.

With the West Cascade entrance blocked off and vehicles held up by a flagger at the Rand Road intersection, it was difficult for customers to navigate around the obstacles to gain access.

“People couldn’t get in and, if they did, they couldn’t get out,” said manager Becky Preston.

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In addition to travel detours and delays brought by the work along Cascade Avenue, the City of Hood River is warning drivers to avoid Serpentine from May 5 to 15 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Monday through Thursday.

The public works crew will be installing a new 6-inch water man from Hazel Avenue and Serpentine will be closed during the posted times to accommodate that work. For more information call the city at 386-2383.

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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



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