There will be a brief bridge lift September 27 at approximately 9AM to enable passage under the bridge for a small group of tall mast sailboats. Both lanes will be closed for up to 20 minutes.Read More
The Port of Hood River’s engineering intern, Andrew Porter, worked on a Lot 1 Stormwater Treatment Plan this past summer before heading off to graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania.
Engineering Intern Andrew Porter, pictured here with Port staff Laurie Borton, Janet Lerner, Melissa Child, Liz Whitmore, and Anne Medenbach at his big send off potluck. Thanks Andrew!
A recent graduate of Santa Clara University School of Engineering, Porter delivered the results of his study to the Port Commission in early August. Porter was tasked with comparing the 2013 Group Mackenzie “Lot 1 Preliminary Concept Plan” with the 2016 Walker|Macy “Lot 1 Development Plan,” plus incorporating future development requirements for stormwater treatment imposed by the City of Hood River Waterfront Overlay Zone. Porter received input from former Hood River City Engineer Dave Bick, KPFF Consulting Engineers, Bell Design, and Gary Lindemyer.
Porter’s Stormwater Treatment Plan arrived at the following conclusions:
Further geotechnical investigations should be undertaken to confirm the suitability of soil conditions to detain and infiltrate stormwater runoff.
Non-Mechanized Biofiltration Systems, commonly referred to as bioswales, can be installed to provide water quality and quantity treatment for stormwater runoff for up to 90% of 24-hour rain events.
Vegetated conveyance systems can be used to transport runoff from impervious surfaces to bioswales and can be installed at strategic locations throughout the Lot 1 site to assist with stormwater treatment and conveyance.
Stormwater runoff can also be managed through various environmentally-conscious systems, including green or blue roofs, pervious pavement, and limiting conversion of existing pervious surfaces to impervious ones.
Common festival street characteristics, including the elimination of curbs between the sidewalk and street, a uniform elevation cross section, and textured pavements to visually to separate pedestrian and vehicular areas could be implemented along a section of N. 1st to create a festival style street in that area. Various cities locally and internationally have experimented with festival street layouts to a high degree of success.
Porter recommended more research to confirm that on-site stormwater quality and quantity control measures with regards to runoff treatment would meet City and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality design standards. If soil conditions are suitable for sustainable stormwater management systems including bioswales and vegetated conveyance systems, then further exploration of implementing such management systems should be done.Read More
As the Port of Hood River plans major multi-phased airport improvements, the agency received word it would receive over $1.3 million in grant funding from this year’s ConnectOregon VI grant cycle for an “Aviation Technology & Emergency Response Center” at the Ken Jernstedt Airfield. Those initial funds, combined with FAA grants, Port funding and private investment, is expected to spur over $7 million in development at Hood River’s airport over the next few years.
Improvements to the airports north ramp have been part of its Airport Master Plan for over 20 years, calling for the relocation of the Fixed Base Operator (FBO) building and additional tie-downs from the south side of the airstrip to the north side. The ConnectOregon VI grant, which comes from the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) funding pool, will cover nearly 60% of the project’s first phase. That work includes site preparation, environmental assessments, installation of water and sewer utilities, grading, paving, and installation of new fuel tanks. Site improvements will also allow for the construction of five new commercial hangars to support the local aviation industry.
The second phase of improvements at the Ken Jernstedt Airfield are to be funded by TacAero, a private investor and subsidiary of Hood Technology of Hood River. TacAero was assigned the FBO lease last May in an agreement with Classic Wings Aero Services and the Port. Phase Two plans include construction of a new, modern FBO facility, an FAA Certified Part 145 maintenance facility, and an FAA Certified Part 141 training academy facility complete with new training aircraft and state-of-the-art full motion simulators.
Expected completion of the first two project phases is in the next two years. Phase Three will complete the upgrades to the north ramp by the end of 2019, 90% of which would be funded by FAA grants. Earlier this month, the Port also accepted a grant for $237,510 for south taxiway improvements design, with the Port’s contribution to the project coming in at $23,751.
The community will benefit from these airport projects in many ways, such as increased safety with traffic flow improvements and the relocation of the fuel tanks; enhanced facilities for testing and development of UAV technologies and new applications; improved airport facilities for all pilots and visitors, meeting new demand created by the growth in aviation tourism; and an enhanced location for firefighting and emergency response personnel with temporary crew quarters.
“These are exciting plans for the Ken Jernstedt Airfield, and we are grateful for the OTC funding that will kick off a long series of improvements,” relayed Port Executive Director Michael McElwee. “The new FBO building will create a new ‘Front Door’ for the airport community, and the other upgrades should support more business opportunities in the area, plus enhance pilot training and emergency preparedness.”
For more information, contact the Port of Hood River at (541) 386-1645 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
John and Sharon Chow have served as the Event Site hosts for over six years, though have been visiting Hood River every summer for more than 25, riding the winds and sharing their expertise and love of Hood River windsurfing with thousands of visitors from all over the world. Every autumn they return to their home in Quesnel, British Columbia, where Sharon coaches youth figure skating. Before they flew north this year we sat down to ask them to reflect on their years hosting visitors and surfing the Hood River Waterfront.
“Every year there’s more and more,” says Sharon, noting the biggest change over the years has been the explosive growth in the number of visitors to the Event Site. “And user groups are changing somewhat. We’ve had more paddle boarders this year than ever. But, the development at the Hook and Nichols Basin is really helping to spread that out a little.” John notes that the closure of half of the campsites at Tucker Park and increased crowding at Viento, Wyeth, and Memaloose has created new demand for overnight camping on the Waterfront; currently not allowed. They both agree that increased police patrols of all Waterfront parking areas in the evening are needed in addition to the Sherriff’s Department marine patrols that increased last year.
Safety on the water during the summer months is their main concern and it shows. “For the newbies, it takes a while to learn the rules – what you can and cannot do — like no jibing inside the buoys and no kite landing or launching during the summer months.” As the kiting on the waterfront becomes a spectator draw, she notes, this is even more important. “Folks who don’t know anything about the sports are drawn to come and watch from shore. This often creates a safety issue.”
John and Sharon both applaud the school concessionaires and their staff for not only helping to educate new windsurfers and kiteboarders about the waterfront safety zones, but also for their quick response when someone gets in trouble on the water. “You have no idea how many times I’ve seen Brian [Schurton, owner of Brian’s Windsurfing] rescue someone in trouble out there,” says Sharon. “It’s almost daily.” She recalls an incident earlier this summer when an overturned sailboat near the mouth of the White Salmon left sailors floating in the river in the path of an approaching barge tow. “Brian sped over there on his jet ski and yanked at least two people out of the way of the barge,” she said.
John and Sharon first discovered windsurfing when their son, Christopher was just 12 years old and they vacationed in the Okanagan Valley in BC in 1990, stopping at Okanagan Lake for lessons. They traveled on to Seattle to do some school shopping and, on a tip from a friend, decided to keep on driving to Hood River to buy gear at Rhonda Smith’s Windsurfing Center. They honed their skills at Harrison Lake in BC before becoming regulars each summer at Hood River’s Marina Beach. Seeing a Port ad for Event Site Camp Hosts in 2002 they decided to throw their hats in the ring and it’s been a great relationship ever since. “We couldn’t do it without them!” exclaims Port Finance Specialist Melissa Child, who oversees the summertime seasonal parking attendants and relies on the Chows to help manage the often overflowing Lost and Found service that, every year, returns thousands of dollars’ worth of misplaced gear to their rightful owners.
While the Chows have already returned to Quesnel (pop. 10,000+), closing out their time in Hood River for the year, we look forward to their return next year with smiles and sage advice for more new visitors to the Hood River Waterfront. Thank you John and Sharon, for another great year – see you next summer!
The Hood River Interstate Bridge lift span is back to full operational status after repairs were completed and new equipment installed to stabilize the Bridge’s vertical lift. The lift span had been disabled for several months following testing subsequent to the bridge allision that occurred on a support tower last fall.
An inspection following the incident resulted in damage to the bridge deck and span guides. Since the Columbia River is a federal waterway, the U.S. Coast Guard requires the Port to maintain passage for tall marine vessels in the navigational channel. Since last winter, a Notice to Mariners informed vessels of the lift span closure.
Engineers from HDR Engineering assessed the damage earlier in the year and recommended repairs and improvements to stabilize the bridge’s vertical lift. Two damaged deck panels north of the lift span were replaced in June by Port staff and Bulldog Welding. In August and September, crews from Stafford Bandlow Engineers installed new lift span equipment. Span guides are affixed to the lift span in multiple locations, providing lateral stability as the span is raised. Two lower span guides on the south end were damaged, and new span guides were fabricated to include rollers that allow for smoother movement as the lift span is raised. An inclinometer instrument was installed that monitors the skew angle of the span’s lift. Improved controls and fail-stop mechanisms will provide span stability.
The lift span was successfully raised to 45 feet after a series of limited height testing in mid-August of the new skew monitoring fail-stop system. After multiple tests confirmed proper function, the U.S. Coast Guard was notified that the lift span was functional.
The lift span is raised an average of 14 times per year, and each lift lasts approximately 15 minutes.