COVID-19 threat prompts temporary suspension
The Port of Hood River Board of Commissioners held a special meeting Tuesday, March 24 via remote video conference to discuss Port operational changes in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The Commission unanimously approved an extension of the seven-day suspension of all tolls on the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge that began on Friday, March 20 and was set to end on March 27. The Commission unanimously agreed to continue the suspension of tolls for all users until May 1st or such time that non-BreezeBy payments for tolls can be accepted.
On March 19, Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-10 Conservation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that directed and ordered “Individuals and entities in other industries that utilize PPE, including but not limited to the commercial, construction, farming, and manufacturing sectors, are strongly encouraged to cancel or postpone non-essential uses of PPE during the ongoing state of emergency.” Port and County public health officials have concluded that, since receiving cash payments for tolls in the toll booth would require workers to use PPE, the cash tolling suspension should continue.
The electronic tolling system called “BreezeBy” enables motorists with transponders to travel through automated lanes and pay tolls electronically via a prepaid account. BreezeBy is largely used by local commuters and provides a discount on the cash toll rate. BreezeBy customer accounts will not be charged for tolls during this period, and BreezeBy users need to make no changes to their accounts or transponders.
All vehicle traffic will continue to be directed through the BreezeBy lanes at the toll plaza located on the Oregon side of the bridge. Port staff will remain available to respond to emergencies or accidents on the bridge during the toll suspension. All motorists are urged to adhere to the posted speeds on the bridge, especially the 15 mph maximum speed through the Toll Plaza.
For more information, contact the Port of Hood River via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Port of Hood River seeks to initiate, promote and maintain quality of life and a healthy economy throughout the Port District and the Columbia River Gorge.