Bridge of the Gods to add Saturday nighttime closures

— The Port of Cascade Locks has announced that more nighttime closures will be coming to the Bridge of the Gods as contractors work to finish repairs on the structure by the end of the year.

Starting next week, the bridge is scheduled to be closed to traffic Saturday night from 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. in addition to the Monday-Friday nighttime closures that are already in effect. Emergency vehicles will still be allowed to cross the bridge if necessary.

The bridge was originally supposed to be closed starting this Saturday night, but work has been pushed back to Monday due to the weather.

The closures will allow Wildish, a contracting company from Eugene, to repair or replace some of the bridges corroding support beams, called “stringers.” The Oregon Department of Transportation has lowered the structure’s weight limit, which effectively bars heavy trucks from crossing the bridge until the repairs are completed, which is expected to be at the end of December.

More work unrelated to the weight restrictions will continue on the bridge throughout January, with Wildish contractually obligated to finish the work by mid-February, according to the port. Nighttime closures are expected to last until the completion of the project.

The port advises bridge users that the work schedule is “dependent on the weather and delivery of materials” and there may be a possibility of Sunday night closures, which will be determined by Thursday of each week. Work is not scheduled for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Year’s Day and the Port Commission of Cascade Locks also recently voted to waive toll charges for all bridge users from 8 p.m. Dec. 24 to 7 a.m. Dec. 26.

A link has been added to the port’s home page — — that provides the latest closure information for the Bridge of the Gods. The port is also currently in the process of getting the bridge status posted on the ODOT’s TripCheck website and 511 travel information phone hotline. Those who would like to be added to the bride update listserv can contact the port at 541-374-8619 or kbengtson@portof

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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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