Get ready for Gorge road construction


News staff writer

November 1, 2006

While project start dates are off in the future, from 2007 to 2011 there will be almost constant bridge construction on Interstate 84 from the The Dalles to the Sandy River.

Planners, engineers and project managers with the Oregon Department of Transportation held the first open house explaining the projects Oct. 25 in The Dalles.

The event focused on the first phase of work, which involves both bridge replacement and repair between The Dalles and Hood River.

Repairs will be made to the Rock Creek Bridge in Mosier and the Hostetler Way Connector Bridge, which are being done on a separate schedule.

“We wanted to get those repairs going as quickly as possible,” said John MacArthur, the program manager with Oregon Bridge Delivery Partners.

Part of the team’s concern is due to cracks in concrete on those structures. That has resulted in reduced load carrying capacity for the bridges.

“It’s not safe,” said Terry Stones, of David Evans and Associates, the design firm for the project. “The work will bring those bridges up to the level required for all continuous use permits (for trucks).”

Aside from the higher cost of $33.9 million, plans to replace a bridge over Mosier Creek and at Fifteen Mile Creek will have something the repairs won’t as plans include seismic readiness for the new structures. Retrofitting for earthquakes won’t be done on the two repair bridges in the segment because of not enough project funding.

However, the rest of the entire list of projects is fully funded through monies from both the Oregon Transportation Investment Act (OTIA) and the Statewide Transportation Improvement Project (STIP).

Repair work involves strengthening cap beams, girders and crossbeams. The design is expected to be approved in Dec. 2006, going out to bid in April 2007 with repair work slated for spring to fall of 2007.

A new element marks the projects’ design as ODOT installs the first Gorge standard barriers replacing the current median. MacArthur worked on a team that developed the Interstate Corridor Strategy.

“It is the idea of continuity,” he said. “The document is a true stakeholder vision of what they want the Gorge to look like in 30 years.”

Copies of the I-84 Corridor Strategy are available online as a pdf file or to study at the Gorge Commission office in White Salmon.

The other phases of bridge repair are slated for three distinct geographic regions, which include:

* From Cascade Locks to Hood River, replacement of three bridges and repair of eight bridges. The final design is due early 2008 with construction set for 2008 to 2010.

* From Dodson to Tanner Creek, replacement of one bridge and repair of three bridges. The final design is due Nov. 2007 with construction from April 2009 to 2011.

* Bridges over the Sandy River and at Jordan Road, replacement of two bridges, repair of two bridges. The final design is due Nov. 2007 with construction from March 2008 to Dec. 2010.


For more information on the bridge projects:

* Call Wayman Bolly, OBDP Design Coordinator at (503) 587-2912 or or call Michelle Gregory, Public Information at (503) 695-3588.

* Go online for the I-84 Corridor Strategy: A Vision and Design Guidelines for Interstate 84 in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

The URL for the webpage section is: partner/design/aids/?S1=Show&S13=Show

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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