Repair work to begin on Benson Bridge

Repairs on the historic Benson Bridge at Multnomah Falls are scheduled to begin this week. The bridge suffered damage from a rock fall that occurred early in the morning Jan. 9. Catworks Construction, a construction company from Battle Ground, Wash., was awarded the contract for repairs and plans to complete the project by Memorial Day weekend.

Included in the $319,000 contract is repairing the damage from the rock fall, cleaning the bridge, and applying a new seal coat to the bridge. This new seal coat will prevent deterioration from the harsh and wet environment from the waterfall spray zone and should last up to 25 years.

Scaffolding will be hung from the bridge for repair work and the bridge will be draped with special tarps to prevent debris from entering Multnomah Creek and impacting water quality and fish habitat.

The Larch Mountain Trail #441 will be closed from the plaza up to the bridge during the duration of the project. Multnomah Falls Lodge and Visitor Center are open for business and visitors can still get spectacular views from the plaza. The Forest Service asks that visitors be aware of construction activities at the site and know that the bridge will also be obscured during the project.

The popular Wahkeena to Multnomah Falls hiking loop is impassable due to the closure, as well as the hike to the top of the falls. Once the repair work is completed, the trail and bridge will be open to the public for the summer season.

USFS asks that visitors look up current conditions and closures before planning a trip in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area at fs.us-da.gov/crgnsa. For more information on this project, contact Stan Hinatsu at 541-308-1708.

Latest stories

Latest video:

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



Log in to comment

Columbia Gorge news and businesses