A major milestone in the Port of Hood River’s progress to replace the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge was reached in late November with the publication of the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement by the Port, in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Bi-State EIS Working Group.
The Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) expands content in the original Draft EIS, completed in 2003. Public comment on the draft is required prior to developing the Final EIS, a key prerequisite for progressing to the design and construction of the new bridge.
Two bridge design options: a preferred alignment (Preferred Alternative EC-2) and an alternative alignment (Alternative EC-3) are presented in the Supplemental Draft EIS, which evaluates the two alternatives as well as their benefits and effects for the community and environment.
Technical reports include such topics as air quality, energy and greenhouse gases, fish and wildlife elements, geology and soils, hazardous material, land use, noise, traffic, water quality, vegetation and wetlands, as well as social and economic considerations.
The Draft EIS is available at this link: portofhoodriver.com/bridge/bridge-replacement-project/.
Please submit comments on the Supplemental Draft EIS through January 4, 2021.
Your comments are requested on the Hood River-White Salmon Bridge Replacement Project Supplemental Draft EIS.
Specific comments on the project alternatives, environmental analysis, community engagement, and tribal consultation are particularly useful to the project team in moving the project forward.
You can submit your comments in the following ways:
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Phone: leave your message at (833) 215-2352.
The Port of Hood River received a $5 million BUILD Grant award with co-applicant Klickitat County to fund a portion of Phase 2 work, estimated between $20-$30 million.
Phase 2 is considered after the Final EIS or post-National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements. These undertakings will determine next steps, ideally allowing the project to proceed with federal funding and permit applications. The Port has committed $1.25 million reserved from the February 2018 toll increase as matching funds for the BUILD grant. Klickitat County will take the lead on bid selection and technical advisory committees.
The $5 million BUILD grant to fund post-NEPA activities would cover the following: Governance Work; Traffic & Revenue Studies; and the largest component of the grant, Preliminary Architectural / Engineering Design work.
It’s anticipated that the BUILD phase could be completed by end of 2022. The project team will continue to lobby in Salem, Olympia and DC for on-going funding.
A Bi-State Working Group has been formed with six members from local jurisdictions. Washington partners include Klickitat County, City of Bingen and City of White Salmon, while Oregon partners include Hood River County, the City of Hood River and the Port of Hood River. The Bi-State Working Group will assist with project advocacy with a singular voice in both State capitols and prepare a common work plan as funding arrives. The Working Group approved a Memo of Understanding agreeing to a work plan for bridge replacement as well creating a Bi-State Bridge Authority for the future financing. Legislation will be forthcoming from Oregon and Washington that requests report findings and recommendations surrounding replacement of the bridge from the Port and establishment of a Bi-State Authority, providing recommendations for legislative changes.