HR Bridge overlay to start soon

The Port of Hood River is set to begin a $266,000 bridge approach overlay and joint rehabilitation project in less than two weeks, which will cause delays and closures for motorists traveling over the Hood River Bridge for approximately one month.

Port Executive Director Michael McElwee described the work, which is scheduled to start Monday, July 7, as “essentially a repaving job,” that will rehabilitate sections of the bridge that have deteriorated due to normal use.

McElwee reported that the approach ramps on both the Oregon and Washington sides of the bridge — the non-metal portions of the bridge deck — have become worn and pitted due to vehicle travel, which will require the concrete surface of the approach ramps to be removed and replaced.

Other work will consist of addressing spalling that has occurred on the concrete pilings that make up the bridge bents — or supports in lay terms — near the BNSF railroad tracks on the Washington side of the bridge. Spalling is essentially the weathering and chipping of concrete, which McElwee explained often occurs due to wear and tear caused by the elements. He added that “extra attention” will also be paid to the north expansion joint on the Washington side of the bridge to make sure water is properly diverted from the bridge feature.

Wildish Standard Paving, a construction company based out of Eugene, was the winning bidder for the project. Wildish is the same contractor that performed the port’s $4.2-million toll booth plaza project in 2007 that renovated the plaza and added the BreezeBy tolling transponder system.

The work will require one-lane closures on the bridge from July 7 until Aug. 8. Closures are scheduled weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the port warns motorists that delays of 10-15 minutes should be anticipated. Four full closures of the bridge are also scheduled, but the exact dates are unknown, although the port expects those closures will occur from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. on either a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

The port says it aims to get the deck work completed “before the fruit hauling season.” Underdeck work is scheduled for completion by the end of August.

Those with questions about the project are advised to call the port at 541-386-1645.

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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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