Start date changes for Bridge of Gods work

The schedule for upcoming repair work to be performed on the Bridge of the Gods has changed once again.

Port of Cascade Locks Interim General Manager Paul Koch reported Monday that the repair work will begin Monday, Oct. 21, instead of Wednesday, Oct. 16, as the schedule originally dictated. Koch said the contractor announced the change Monday morning, but did not give a reason as to why.

The 1,858-foot-long structure needs repairs to a number of its components before heavy trucks can resume travel on the bride. In July, the Oregon Department of Transportation reduced the weight limit on the bridge from 40-30 tons to 8 tons after a load analysis study revealed that dozens of corroding stringers and gussets — support beams and connecting plates — were in need of repair or replacement.

Despite the delay, Koch said the port was “still on track” to complete the work by Dec. 31 that will restore the bridge’s original weight restrictions.

However, it was also announced that the Bridge of the Gods will likely see more closures as new regulations mandate the port replace welds that hold bridge components together with bolts. That project, known as “clip work,” is scheduled to begin in January, and has no bearing on the bridge’s current weight restrictions.

Below is the complete closure information, subject to change:

Oct. 21 to mid-November: Gusset work begins. Intermittent lane closures will occur on the bridge during the day. No nighttime closures will occur.

Nov. 15 to Dec. 31: Stringer work begins. The bridge will be closed at night from 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.

January 2014: Clip work begins. Single-lane traffic controls will be in place. The bridge is expected to be closed at night from 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. However, the port has “sought information on stretching this work out until Feb. 15 in exchange for no night time closures.”

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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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