Saturday, October 5, 2013
The closure schedule for the Bridge of the Gods has changed as a result of recent discussions between the Oregon Department of Transportation and its contractors who will be doing a series of repairs on the bridge over the next couple months.
The bridge was originally slated for closure from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day starting Oct. 11 until the end of the year. According to the latest bridge closure flyer issued from the Port of Cascade Locks, motorists using the Bridge of the Gods should expect the possibility of alternating lane closures to occur starting Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., seven days a week. Workers will be repairing or replacing dozens of rusty or corroding bridge components that caused ODOT to increase the weight restrictions on the structure in July from 40-30 tons to 8 tons.
As of now, full nighttime closures of the bridge are expected to begin mid-November. Port of Cascade Locks Interim General Manager Paul Koch said the bridge is tentatively scheduled to be fully closed to traffic, with the exception of emergency vehicles, from 7:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., but Koch noted those times could change.
The closures are expected to be lifted when the repair job is finished, which is anticipated to occur at the end of the year. ODOT reports the bridge will not be closed, however, on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Day.
In regards to the daytime alternating lane closures, Koch said he “wouldn’t expect them to be lengthy, but you never know.”
The construction will likely impact many travelers on both sides of the Columbia River.
Koch said the port has received a good deal of feedback from the public — the general tone of which he summed up as, “I don’t like it, but let’s get it done.”
“It’s an inconvenience for everyone,” he added.
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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