Toll bridge survey work switched to night hours

January 17

Survey work on the Hood River Toll Bridge is taking place only during the night hours so that fewer commuters will have travel delays.

The Port of Hood River decided on Monday that it would better serve motorists to have the work done from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. instead of during the daytime. The public agency is compiling data during the next two weeks for the upcoming redecking of the structure.

A crew from Westlake Consultants, Inc., is performing the survey and one-lane closures could bring crossing delays of up to 20 minutes. However, there will be no work performed on either Friday or Saturday nights.

Once the survey has been completed, Christie Constructors, Inc., will begin the 18-month redecking of the 51-year-old steel deck. The $6.7 million project will replace the metal crossing panels, stringers and guardrails. While that work is underway, the bridge is expected to be shut down except to emergency traffic from Sunday through Thursday from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., with no closures on Friday, Saturday or major holidays.

The port said the inconvenience of traffic delays during the major project will be offset by safer passage. When the work is completed, the bridge will have a new steel-grid surface that will not require the ongoing maintenance that has slowed vehicle crossing each spring and fall.

The public entity expects the redecking to extend the useful life of the structure by 20 years or more. Updates on the project will be advertised in the media and posted on the agency’s Website, www.portofhoodriver.com.

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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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