From the Fall 2017 Port Newsletter
East Waterfront Trail
The far-east section of the Port’s waterfront trail was recently improved and widened at the connection to the Best Western Plus Hood River Inn shoreline path near the Hood River Interstate Bridge. Crestline Construction built and landscaped the new concrete section.
Port Staff News
Melissa Child retired at the end of June after 21 years working for the Port of Hood River as Finance Specialist. “Melissa has always been very capable and productive, and a vital asset to the Port’s financial operations,” relayed Port Executive Director Michael McElwee. “She is already missed.” Port employee Janet Lerner assumed Melissa’s position.
Jean Hadley retired September 30th after ten years at the Port. Jean’s many contributions ranged from assisting in two BreezeBy system upgrades, help with records retention, archiving and front desk support. “Jean’s positive energy, good humor and constructive ideas benefited the Port in many ways and she will be greatly missed,” McElwee said.
Steve Carlson joined the Port as Waterfront and Marina Manager at the end of May. The position includes managing waterfront improvements, concessions, scheduling events, and managing the marina. Carlson has owned and operated Carlson Chandler Home Inspections in Hood River for nearly 20 years. His experience also includes property management and construction, and he’s been a member of the Port of Hood River Marina Committee.
New Administrative Specialist Jana Scoggins began her new position in July. Scoggins will provide administrative support to department managers in various areas of Port operations. She has an associate’s degree in business administration and experience in retail, travel and tourism, and property management. Originally from the Czech Republic, Scoggins speaks multiple languages.
Marcela Diaz joined the Port staff September 6 at the front desk as Office Specialist. Before joining the Port, Marcela worked as shipping coordinator and customer service representative at Wy’East Laboratories for six years. She has been a Hood River resident for the past 26 years and is a Hood River Valley High School alum. Marcela is bilingual in Spanish and English.
An active summer resulted in the Port engaging more interns in one season than ever before. Here’s how each contributed to Port projects while gaining work experience.
Austin Keillor, an Industrial Engineering student at Oregon State University, primarily worked on waterfront parking data collection and analysis to expand on the Port’s 2015 parking study and input from a Port/City Ad Hoc committee on waterfront parking solutions. Keillor collected hourly parking occupancy data over nine days plus turnover rates on seven days in July and August on Port, City and private parking areas. His report analyzed the data and assessed the financial feasibility of a paid parking system on Port-owned waterfront lots. The report should assist the Port and City with further decisions on of waterfront parking management.
Natalie Kowell researched Washington state legislative opportunities for bridge replacement funding, plus interoperability of tolling and enforcement. Kowell was assigned to research, identify and create a plan similar to Oregon legislative achievements for the 2018 short session in Washington state, particularly the need for tolling reciprocity and enforcement agreements between WSDOT and the Port. She also examined public tolling policy related to public and privately funded toll facilities in Washington. Kowell is a student at Chapman University majoring in Peace and Conflict Studies/Political Science.
Eric Cuevas prepared an assessment of the location of invasive weeds on the waterfront that will help the Port with weed management programs next spring. He also prepared a thorough assessment of safety conditions on the waterfront. Cuevas’ position was partially funded through a grant from the Special Districts Association of Oregon. Eric is a 2017 graduate of Hood River Valley High School interested in pursuing a career in aviation.
New bridge warning signs
New bridge warning signs are planned for eastbound and westbound lanes on Interstate-84 and Washington State Route 14 near the Hood River Interstate Bridge approaches; intended to provide improved advance warning of narrow lanes, weight and height restrictions on the toll bridge. Installation is planned this fall by Coral Construction on the Oregon side. WSDOT crews completed Washington side installation this summer.
The Port Commission approved a contract with Stafford Bandlow Engineers for bridge lift span inspection and testing services. The scope of work follows the 2016 analysis of key portions of the lift span’s mechanical and electrical systems which led to better understanding of, and repairs to, the span drive motors, machinery and skew systems. The cost of the contract is $50,000 and further inspections should determine whether rehabilitation or replacement of span drive motors and upgrades to skew controls would be beneficial.
Abhe & Svoboda was the low bidder for the Auxiliary Truss and Floorbeam Repair project at $367,770 also scheduled to start in September. The work entails repairs to floorbeams plus auxiliary brace connection plate and rivet replacement, and necessary painting. Plans prepared by HDR Engineers outline a detailed scope of work.
Bridge deck welding continued this August by Port facilities crew, with short morning work shifts scheduled to avoid significant backups. Regular repairs to the steel deck have been required the past five years due to a chronic defect that results in decking joint cracks.
Expo Project update
Shell and core work is nearing completion on two buildings under construction by Key Development on Portway Avenue at the site of the former Expo Center property. Enclosure is expected in late October while interior finishes will occur late fall/early winter.
Each building shares a similar floor plan with 5,000 square feet on each level for a total of 15,000 square feet per building. Light industrial workspace is planned for the first floors, with limited commercial space (offering river views from expansive windows) on the second levels and a mix of professional and light industrial office space planned for the top levels. A public plaza will connect the buildings, while a shared elevator and catwalk will connect the structures’ second floors. Ferment will occupy the first and second floors of the east building, with Blue Collar Agency and Riverkeeper sharing the third level of the west building.
Electronics Assemblers expands
Electronics Assemblers (EA), a Port tenant for close to 25 years and one of Hood River’s oldest tech companies, nearly doubled its lease in the Big 7 building and plans to also increase employment. The company’s space grew from 11,000 to 20,000 square feet this past summer, and EA expects to add over 10 employees to its current staff of 41. The increase in space will accommodate not only the increased workforce, but will also make room for automation equipment. The company manufactures and distributes electro-mechanical assemblies for other companies. The Port completed tenant improvement work and repairs to portions of the third floor as well as construction of a new hallway on the second floor, performed by local contractor Dan Homer.
New dog park planned
An Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the Port of Hood River and Hood River Valley Park and Recreation District paves the way for construction of a new dog park adjacent to the Portway Avenue cul-de-sac at The Hook entrance. A five-year lease was granted by the Port and improvements are required to be made by Parks and Rec by December 31. The park space, just under an acre and linear in layout, will include seven parking spaces and ideally a future connection to the Waterfront Trail.
Port in the News
The Port of Hood River was featured in a front page article by The Columbian newspaper of Vancouver, WA declaring the Port’s waterfront development an “inspiration” and great example to be followed in other areas, including Clark County. Also, the summer issue of The Gorge Magazine featured a historical piece about the Hood River / White Salmon Interstate Bridge written by local writer Peggy Dills Kelter. The article describes highlights of the structure’s 93-year history as well as its significance in the region and its challenges for modern-day utility.