Work starts Monday on State Street

Look for one-way daytime traffic in August; ‘heavy work’ starts after Labor Day

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.STATE Street work will start with construction of a retaining wall running east from this point, in front of Horsefeathers Pub.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.STATE Street work will start with construction of a retaining wall running east from this point, in front of Horsefeathers Pub.

Work on phase one of State Street redevelopment, a retaining wall and sidewalk, begins Monday on the State Street Urban Renewal Project.

Traffic will be one-way on State, between Front and Second streets, for about two weeks as Crestline Construction starts work on a two-tier retaining wall between First and Second, just east of Horsefeathers Pub and Big Horse Brewery. Excavation and gradual removal of trees and shrubs will be the most visible aspect of the project. Crews will begin shoring up the bank in preparation for construction of the retaining wall, which will have a raised walkway.

Parking between Front and Second is unavailable for the next two months, and while flaggers will route traffic one-way during the day, both lanes will be open overnight.

All work will be on the south side of the street.

Second Street stairs will remain open, and traffic will increase on Second as drivers are encouraged to take it as an alternative to the one-way work zone.

Come Sept. 1, crews will be tearing up State Street between Second and Seventh Street, and in October and November, on Front Street and on Oak between Front and Second.

These and other facts were presented Monday night to about 15 business owners in a meeting at City Hall with construction representatives and the Urban Renewal Advisory Board.

The $4.2 million project will result in new streets, sidewalks, lighting, and pedestrian plazas, and all utilities will be placed underground.

Gary Lindemyer of the City of Hood River is the point man for the city on the project. He said two-week work schedules will be posted on the city web site.

Ben Sheppard of Sheppard’s, Scott Reynier of Columbia River Insurance and Buzzy Nielsen of Hood River Library serve as community liaisons; anyone with concerns is encouraged to contact any of the trio, and they will work directly with the city and Crestline for resolutions.

Project Manager Bill Ketchum of Crestline said his company has rented street-level office space at 212 Second St. (the former Next Door office) and Crestline officials are available there or on the work site to answer questions. (An article in the July 31 edition gave the wrong general contractor name.)

“I’m always around,” Ketchum said. “We will work with all business owners to do what we can to help make sure they have access.”

Designer Dev Bell explained that an entirely new utility system must be installed underground before the power poles are removed.

“Every piece of underground is spoken for. It is busy under there,” Bell said. Public utilities and private ones including phone, cable, and natural gas have worked with the designers, and all parties are satisfied with the plan, he said. The complexity of the undergrounding is the primary reason for the long duration of the project, he said.

“There’s a lot of time involved, and you just have to wait for things to happen,” Bell said.

Lindemyer said the increased traffic on Second and Oak, already a busy intersection for cars and pedestrians, is something “we have given a lot of thought to,” and he added that Oregon Department of Transportation will be monitoring motor and pedestrian use of the intersection.

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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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