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.Read More
Cash toll will increase to $3.50, BreezeBy to $1.75 per crossing
HOOD RIVER, OR – During their July 11, 2023 meeting, the Port of Hood River Board of Commissioners approved a bridge toll rate increase that will go into effect on September 1, following two public hearings, two open house events, and a two-week online open house to gather public input on the two tolling options resulting from the Washington State Transportation Commission’s traffic and revenue study for the planned replacement bridge. The new toll rates were set based on the recommendation of the newly formed Hood River White Salmon Bridge Authority (HRWSBA), citing the need to raise $70-$150 million in local toll revenue to complete the funding package for construction of the replacement bridge. 100% of the new toll revenue will go into a separate Bi State Replacement Fund to be used solely for building up cash reserves required for a federal construction loan.
“This is a key part of our strategy to fund the bridge,” said Port and Bridge Authority Commissioner Mike Fox. “We are targeting about 85% of the total $520 million needed for the new bridge to come from state and federal grants. The balance will have to be funded through loans backed by toll revenue.” The project was recently awarded $20 million in funding by the Oregon state legislature, and a total of $75 million from Washington. News of the award of a $3.6 million federal grant to fund the design and engineering for the pedestrian and bicycle crossing planned to be on the new bridge was announced last week.
The new Bridge Authority had its first meeting on July 10 and assumed responsibility going forward for the replacement project. The new Bridge Authority will own and operate the replacement bridge and will set toll rates once construction is complete. With six members appointed by the county commissions of Hood River and Klickitat, the board has equal representation on both sides of the river for decision-making on project delivery and ongoing operations for the new bridge. “The new bridge authority is very sensitive to the tolling impact on users. As we move forward, we will continually search for ways to increase the amount of grants which ultimately will reduce the need for loans,” said Fox.
Base toll rates for passenger vehicles will increase for cash-paying customers, going from $2.00 to $3.50 per crossing. Bridge users that have signed up for the Port’s prepaid tolling system, BreezeBy, will see an increase of $0.75 per crossing rate going from $1.00 to $1.75 per crossing for two-axle vehicles. Toll rates depend on vehicle class with large trucks, RVs, and trailers paying $4.00 per axle for cash customers, $3.00 per axle with BreezeBy.
CASH PAYMENTSBREEZEBYVehicle ClassTollVehicle ClassTollClass 0 – Motorcycles$3.00Class 0 – Motorcycles$1.50Class 1 – Passenger Cars & Pickups$3.50Class 1 – Passenger Cars & Pickups$1.75Class 2+ – Large trucks, RVs, Trailers, Busses$4.00 PER AXLEClass 2+ – Large trucks, RVs, Trailers, Busses$3.00 PER AXLE
There are no extra fees to open a new Breezeby account, and each household receives one transponder for free. After that, each additional transponder is $5.00. There is no limit to the number of vehicles for each account. Customers can load funds onto their Breezeby account with cash, check, or credit or debit card. Spanish language customer services are available.
For more information, contact the Port via email to email@example.com.
Many thanks to KGW’s Anthony Macuk for his coverage of the Hood River White Salmon Bridge Replacement project, the formation of the new bi state Hood River White Salmon Bridge Authority, and how revenue from the new toll increase will help to complete the funding package for the new bridge. Thanks also to White Salmon Mayor and Bridge Authority Commissioner Marla Keethler and Port Commissioner Kristi Chapman for speaking about the project with the KGW news team. If you have any questions about the bridge replacement project, be sure to visit the project website at https://hoodriverbridge.org.Read More