FOR WIRE ROPE REPLACEMENT
The Hood River-White Salmon Interstate bridge will be closed to all traffic for four consecutive days, beginning at 12:01 a.m. the morning of Friday, November 3 through 11:59 p.m. the night of Monday, November 6. During this 96-hour period, crews from Hamilton Construction will remove, replace, and adjust the tension in the wire ropes that support the bridge lift counterweights. The work is not weather dependent and will be underway continuously during the closure.
“A recent inspection found that the ropes have worn to the point that replacement is warranted,” said Paul Bandlow, Principal and Unit Manager for bridge engineering firm Wiss, Janey, Elstner Associates, Inc. “While replacement is warranted, the existing ropes are not so badly worn as to affect the safe operation of the bridge or of the vehicles that pass over the bridge. Rather, replacing ropes is similar to the replacement of tires on a vehicle in that the idea is to replace the ropes prior to the ropes becoming a safety issue. This work is therefore being done to make sure the bridge remains safe for the people who rely on it.”
Replacement of the ropes requires jacking the counterweights to unload the ropes, removing the existing ropes, installing new ropes and de-jacking the counterweight to allow the new ropes to support the counterweights. This work requires access to the roadway surface as well as other areas on the bridge and therefore the bridge will be closed to all vehicular traffic. The bridge will not be operational for marine traffic when the ropes are being replaced. The new ropes have a service life of at least 30 years.
The Port accepted a bid from Hamilton Construction in the amount of $1,119,250 for the project in October of 2022. Procurement activities immediately commenced, and the work was originally scheduled to take place in May but fabrication delays prompted the Port to reschedule until after the fruit harvest this year.
During the weeks leading up to the closure, there will be intermittent, single-lane closures of the bridge primarily during nighttime hours as Hamilton Construction crews work to prepare for the closure.