The ports of Hood River and Cascade Locks held a joint session on January 30th in Cascade Locks to share information and discuss shared concerns and opportunities related to tolling, real estate development, lobbying, and economic development. The Bridge of the Gods implemented Breezeby electronic tolling earlier in the month.
A contract with Brown Roofing was ratified for siding and roof replacement of the Hood River – White Salmon Bridge Toll House.
The Airport Advisory Committee met January 23rd to discuss multiple airport improvement projects, noise issues, and T-hangar leases.
As part of the process to develop its 2021-2026 Strategic Business Plan, the Port hosted an Open House Public Meeting to receive public comment on Port operations and community priorities for the future. Over 1,000 people completed online and paper surveys distributed throughout the Hood River and White Salmon communities to give input on the Hood River waterfront, bridge, Ken Jernstedt Airfield, Hood River Marina, real estate and economic development priorities, and other Port operations.
The OneGorge Advocacy Group hosted its annual “Gorgeous Nights” in Olympia on February 5 and in Salem on February 19 in partnership with state legislators. The receptions helped raise awareness of Gorge area needs and priorities with legislators and their staff in the capitols.
Willamette Cultural Resources was contracted to finish the Cultural Resources Report for the bridge replacement Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Level 2 work on the one archaeological site, as well as to complete the report to ODOT/FHWA standards.
Port Commissioner Kristi Chapman and Bridge Replacement Project Director Kevin Greenwood attended the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association’s annual Mission to Washington D.C., meeting with numerous legislators and agency representatives, including Congressman Greg Walden, regarding the effort to replace the bridge.
A five-year permit was granted to American Cruise Lines, Inc., by the Port for exclusive use of the north side of the Marina jetty and non-exclusive use of the gravel access road area.
The Port of Hood River announced steps to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak based on direction from the Hood River County Health Department and Oregon Health Authority. Steps included daily spray sanitization of regular contact surfaces, supply of hand sanitizer at all employee desks, the toll booth and public areas, and ordering a stockpile of sanitizer, gloves, and masks and other PPE.
Longtime toll staff member Roger Benn retired on April 3. The Port Commission proclaimed May 14th, 2020 as Roger Benn Day to show its appreciation of nearly six years of service.
The Port Commission and Budget Committee held its Spring Planning meeting on April 7, an important step in the annual budget preparation process.
Tapani Inc. completed the first phase of work for the ConnectOregon VI project at the airport. This work consisted of installing irrigation pipe and fittings provided by Farmers Irrigation District and disconnecting existing pipes.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Port accelerated the planned implementation of its All-Electronic Tolling system in May, with the activation of a license plate recognition system and DMV interface for billing unpaid tolls.
Following the implementation of proper sanitation, PPE, and workspace distancing protocols, the toll booth reopened for normal operations on June 1 after being closed since March 18th.
All large events planned at the Event Site were cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Marina Park picnic shelter was also closed.
Activity at the Ken Jernstedt Airfield continued with a crack seal project on Air Museum Drive, pre-construction work for the North Apron Rehabilitation project, and the ConnectOregon VI project work nearing 40% completion.
The Port Commission heard a final report for a Waterfront Traffic Study, commissioned by the Port in January and developed by DKS Associates, Inc.
Like most Independence Day traditions, the 4th of July fireworks show was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The biennial Fracture Critical Inspection of the bridge was conducted the week of July 6th, requiring up-close inspection and photography of every structural member of the bridge by a climbing crew from David Evans & Associates.
Facilities crews removed a significant amount of brush and opened up a much wider opening from the east end of the Event Site to the Sandbar to help alleviate crowding conditions for kiters.
Port crews completed repairs on a long section of guardrail near the lift span of the bridge that had been damaged by a truck impact.
The new access ramp and reconfiguration of the Nichols Basin Dock was completed, adding significantly more usable area.
Facilities staff carried out a major repair with 28 cubic yards of riprap next to the Jensen Building where a wash out occurred along the riverbank.
In an effort to reduce crowding at popular waterfront areas and mitigate risk of COVID-19 spread in the community, the Port closed the Event Site parking lot to all but annual pass holders, closed Lot 1 completely, closed off parking along the eastern curb of N. 1st Street, and closed the Nichols Basin dock to the public.
The entire Hood River waterfront community mourned the tragic deaths by drowning of two visitors near Marina Beach on August 5th. In response, Port staff installed additional signage warning of the dangerous currents at multiple locations along the beach.
A memorial service for Montana-based helicopter pilot Tom Duffy, who lost his life battling the White River fire on August 17, was held at the Ken Jernstedt Airfield on August 27th.
The ConnectOregon VI project was reported as over 67% complete. Paving activities for the North Apron project also began after resolution of the sub-grade issues, and was 80% complete by month’s end.
A positive 2020 Fracture Critical Inspection report was received.
The Port worked to adopt new Oregon OSHA workplace rules to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spread in various work environments.
Summer interns Jose Santillan and Beto Rojas completed their analysis of property owned by the Port in Wasco County, and presented their findings and recommendations to the Commission on September 15.
The Big 7 Building Re-Roof Project was completed by Competitive Commercial Roofing.
In response to reports of large numbers of evacuees fleeing the Clackamas County wildfires, the Port opened Lot 1 for free RV and trailer parking for evacuees.
Port Bridge Project Director Kevin Greenwood reported to the Port Commission that the agency was about 75% complete with the Final Environmental Impact Statement contract with WSP.
Marcela Diaz was promoted to Finance Specialist in recognition of exceptional work in Accounts Receivable and Customer Service.
A motorized gate for the north end of Orchard Road was installed, and the concrete pad for the fuel tank was poured at the Airport.
The Commission approved a construction contract with DKB Limited for construction of the community-funded Steve Gates Remembrance Project near Frog Beach on the waterfront.
The Port had high response to its call for seasonal concessions permits for food concession businesses at the Event Site Dock and for kiteboard, windsurf, and SUP schools and rentals, authorizing nine agreements for five years.
The Commission approved the FAA-required Disadvantaged Business Program Agreement for the Ken Jernstedt Airfield.
The ConnectOregon VI project and the North Apron Rehabilitation Project were both completed.
The Port Commission approved the Hood River Area Multi-Jurisdictional Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan.
The Port Commission approved the Bi-State Working Group Memo of Understanding (MOU) on Oct. 27th, with the cities of Hood River, White Salmon and Bingen, plus Hood River and Klickitat counties agreeing to the MOU.
The Port Commission held its annual Fall Planning Work Session on November 10.
A new storm line connection from the Halyard Building to the City’s storm line was successfully installed. Zeller Excavating and the City of Hood River’s contractor were able to coordinate the challenging project well.
The Commission approved the 2021 parking rate schedule with no changes to hourly paid parking rates, daily Event Site parking and season pass prices.
A contract was approved for bi-annual bridge deck welding with Bulldog Welding.
A seasonal parking agreement was authorized for Columbia Area Transit to provide skier shuttle parking at the Event Site for the 2020-21 season.
A public hearing on the Draft EIS was held December 3rd. Comments on the Supplemental DEIS were taken during this month on changes made to the original Draft EIS published 10 years ago.
The audit for Fiscal Year ending June 30th, 2020 was approved by the Port Commission.
The Port Commission signed a Proclamation of Commendation and Appreciation for U.S. Representative Greg Walden for his long public service and contributions to the Port District.