Waterfront Development Update
The new glass façade arising on the waterfront is evidence that Sheppard’s
new 20,000 square-foot building at Waterfront Business Park is nearing completion. The 1.93-acre parcel on the corner of N. 2nd Street at Riverside Drive will soon be home to one of the oldest family-owned businesses in the Hood River Valley. Sheppard’s will offer assembly, repair and sales of agriculture machinery at its new site, opening later this spring.
The first phase of construction is in progress at the former Expo Center property along Portway Avenue. The first two of four total buildings under development are planned at approximately 15,000 square feet each. According to Claudia von Flotow of Key Development, completion of the first phase should occur by the end of summer. The second phase will occur along North 2nd Avenue, and is anticipated in 2018-19.
Bridge Lighting Upgrade
New LED roadway light fixtures were purchased from Twice the Light, Inc. for installation on the Hood River Interstate Bridge at a cost of $28,440. John Mann, Port Facilities Manager, said the existing lights were outdated, in disrepair, incurred high electrical costs, and had been an ongoing maintenance issue. Gorge Electric’s installation costs were included in the proposal. The project qualified for an Energy Trust of Oregon incentive program for reimbursement of $5,775, and a Klickitat PUD incentive of $2,160, making the net cost to the Port $20,505. Twice the Light estimates annual energy savings will be over $3,000 per year.
Farewell to two Port Staff Members
Laurie Borton announced her retirement as Marina and Office Manager, effective March 1, after 16.5 years with the Port. Borton says she’ll miss interacting with Commissioners, customers, and Port service providers, but she is ready for more flexibility to spend time with family. She looks forward to increased time with her five grandchildren — aged three to 12, all in the Portland metro area — as well as more time with her mother. “Laurie has earned the affection and admiration from generations of Port staff for her work ethic, collaborative nature and positive attitude,” Port Executive Director Michael McElwee said. “She will also be missed by her colleagues, Commissioners, Port tenants and businesses for her responsiveness and professionalism.” Borton worked at United Telephone for 26 years before joining the Port of Hood River. She’s married to Greg Borton, fire chief at Wy’east Fire District.
Liz Whitmore has moved on from the Port of Hood River to a new position as project manager with Key Development for a downtown Hood River venture. Whitmore was Waterfront Coordinator for the Port for four years, managing primarily recreation-related projects along the Waterfront as well as water sport schools and concessions. She was a lead team member for the construction phase of Nichols Basin West Edge Trail and the Hook Launch and Trail. “Liz built strong relationships with many waterfront stakeholder groups and completed projects that significantly improved pedestrian pathways and water access,” said Port Executive Director Michael McElwee. “The waterfront has been greatly enhanced by her efforts over the last four years.”
Waterfront Parking Management Plan
In cooperation with the City of Hood River, the Port has developed a Parking
Management Plan with consultation from Rick Williams Consulting for the waterfront area, and has received public comment. The Port is now working with the City’s ad hoc committee on next steps.
New Bridge Tolling System Hardware
In the coming year, the Port plans to replace the lane loops that read axle counts with new electronic toll collection readers. The new system will offer less expensive sticker transponders for customers. The new ETC readers will be multi-protocol readers for existing and new transponders. A contract was approved by the Port Commission for toll system hardware upgrades for the migration to a new tolling system with consultation from HDR Engineering and P-Square Solutions.
The Port also approved a contract with P-Square Solutions, LLC, for implementation of an integrated IT infrastructure and architecture for the bridge tolling system in the amount of $97,777. This upgraded system would enable the Port to integrate to an all-electronic tolling system. This will enhance security, backup and data retrieval for the web portal.
Like Us on Facebook, Follow Us on Twitter
The Port of Hood River established social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter last year to enhance real-time communications with bridge users and Port constituents. The Port invites you to “like” the Port’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/PortofHoodRiver/ and “follow” the Port’s feed on Twitter at Twitter.com/PortofHoodRiver.