Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Released
On November 20, 2020 the Port of Hood River, in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), published the Hood River-White Salmon Bridge Replacement Project Supplemental Draft EIS. Staff from the Port of Hood River, ODOT and FHWA, in partnership with the EIS Working Group, advanced the design of two bridge options: the preferred alignment (Preferred Alternative EC-2) and an alternative alignment (Alternative EC-3). The Supplemental Draft EIS evaluates these two alternatives and their benefits and effects to the community and the environment, including:
- Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases
- Archaeological Resources and Traditional Cultural Properties
- Community and Social Resources
- Environmental Justice
- Fish and Wildlife
- Hazardous Materials
- Historic Resources
- Land Use
- Local and Regional Economies
- Parks and Recreation
- Soils and Geology
- Treaty Fishing Rights
- Vegetation and Wetlands
- Waterways and Water Quality
- Other Analysis
The Port hosted a public comment period from November 20, 2020 – January 4, 2021, including a virtual Public Hearing to hear verbal comments. Comments were submitted online, by email, phone and in writing. Over 150 comments were received. Comments will be responded to in the combined Final EIS / Record of Decision, anticipated for release in Summer 2021.
You can read a digital copy of the Supplemental Draft EIS here and find a printed copy at a local library.
Printed copies are available for review at the following locations:
Port of Hood River (by appointment – call 541-961-9517)
1000 E. Port Marina Drive
Hood River, OR 97031
White Salmon Valley Community Library (limited services during the COVID-19 pandemic)
77 NE Wauna Avenue
White Salmon, WA 98672
Stevenson Community Library (limited services during the COVID-19 pandemic)
120 NW Vancouver Avenue
Stevenson, WA 98648
Additional resources are available with more information on the Supplemental Draft EIS. Information is available in both Spanish and English:
Virtual Public Hearing presentation and video recording:
The outdated bridge connecting White Salmon and Hood River must be replaced. With narrow lanes, lack of safety shoulders, difficult barge navigation, and no bike or pedestrian path, the bridge does not meet our current needs. In addition, the existing bridge is not ready for an earthquake.
A new bridge would improve the movement of people and goods across the Columbia River in our part of the Gorge. The proposed replacement bridge facility would address problems with river navigation, vehicle travel, pedestrian/bicycle connections, and safety. A new bridge also would support a thriving economy and livable communities.
In 2017, the Port secured funding from the State of Oregon for the project’s next steps after prior studies were funded through Washington state efforts. This was in part thanks to the passage of Oregon HB 2017 “Keep Oregon Moving” during the 2017 Oregon Legislative Session. This funding is supporting the Port to complete the environmental review process.
In September 2020, Klickitat County and the Port of Hood River received notice of approval of a $5 million grant award from the federal BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grant program (“Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development”). The $5 million grant will be matched with $1.25 million from the Port of Hood River for a total of $6.25 million to fund the next phase of the project. These funds will be used to advance engineering efforts and carry out important organizational and financial planning tasks. Support from elected officials in both Washington and Oregon has been key to moving the project forward and receiving the additional project funding through the BUILD grant program.
Building a large piece of bridge infrastructure requires significant resources. Toll revenue will provide essential local match funds for grant funding. The Port currently uses toll revenue for bridge maintenance. Tolls will continue to play a critical role in financing the replacement bridge.
Significant efforts to replace the bridge have been underway since the 1990s primarily led by Washington legislators. Building on this effort, the Port of Hood River Commission started pursuing next steps and funding in 2015. The Port secured funding from the State of Oregon in the 2017 Oregon Legislative Session. In 2020, the Port and Klickitat County received additional federal funding to continue to advance the project’s planning and design work.
The graphic below summarizes the project timeline. On November 20, 2020, the Port released the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for public review and comment. The Supplemental Draft EIS builds on the technical analysis completed in 2003 with the Draft EIS. The Port anticipates completing the environmental review process and receiving a federal Record of Decision by Summer 2021.
We need your help!
Join us throughout the project by attending a meeting of the EIS Working Group. This group meets about quarterly to provide guidance to the project team.
Email our team with questions or comments: firstname.lastname@example.org.