For Immediate Release
Date: March 16, 2020
Michael McElwee, Executive Director
(541) 386-1138 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Genevieve Scholl, Communications & Special Projects Manager
(541) 386-6145 / email@example.com
HOOD RIVER INTERSTATE BRIDGE CASH TOLL LANES,
PORT CUSTOMER SERVICE DESK TO CLOSE TEMPORARILY
As social distancing measure amid COVID-19 concerns
HOOD RIVER, OR – The Port of Hood River is alerting motorists that the manned toll booth at the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge will close beginning at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, March 18 to reduce the potential for employee and public exposure to the Corona virus pandemic. There have been no reported cases of coronavirus in any Port department. This closure is not mandatory, but rather a social-distancing measure.
The innermost lanes of the 4-lane toll plaza will be closed, and all vehicle traffic will flow through the outermost “BreezeBy” lanes. Electronic tolling via the Port’s “BreezeBy” electronic tolling system will continue, but no cash payments will be accepted. The closure will remain in place until further notice.
All motorists should be prepared for possible confusion and traffic delays around the toll plaza area as drivers adjust to the temporary measure. Drivers should slow down when approaching the tolling point, pay attention to all signage and barricades, and proceed with caution.
Early last week, the Port implemented CDC-recommended best practices for workplace sanitation and cash handling. However, in light of the quickly changing situation and both Washington and Oregon state governors implementing widespread school and other closures, the Port is limiting all person-to-person contact throughout its operations.
“The bridge is a critical link in our regional transportation system, and while Port operations must carry on as normally as possible, we must limit person-to-person contact wherever we can.” said Port Executive Director Michael McElwee. “This is a rapidly changing situation and we will provide updates on any changes in Port operations as they occur.”
For the same reasons, the Port will also close public access to its front office customer service desk at 1:00 p.m. Monday, March 16. Following social distancing recommendations, the Port has evaluated each customer service transaction that occurs at the customer service desk, and identified the following alternatives:
- BreezeBy account management can
be performed by BreezeBy customers online via the https://portofhoodriver.com
website. Customers can order new transponders, add money to their accounts,
and make other changes online.
- Cash transactions can be
performed through the Port’s secure money drop slot located to the left of
the Port front office doors. Signs will be posted with instructions for customers
that must use cash or check to complete a transaction.
Checks for payments can also be mailed to:
Port of Hood River
1000 E. Port Marina Drive
Hood River, OR 97031
- Port staff will continue to perform
customer service functions via telephone and email. Customers can call
(541) 386-1645 and leave a voice mail message on the Port’s secure
voicemail line. Calls will be returned in the order received. Customers
can email the Port’s general email inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org to request assistance.
For personal banking security reasons, customers are requested to NOT
share credit or debit card numbers via email, but rather provide a call
back number and a Port staff member will contact you directly.
- Customers that have purchased
Event Site parking passes that are held in Will Call can
request their pass to be mailed to them via email to email@example.com – please give your full name as it appears on your online order receipt and confirm the correct mailing address.
- All other business can be conducted by appointment with individual staff members. Visit the staff directory online here: https://portofhoodriver.com/about-the-port/staff-listing/
For more information, contact the Port of Hood River via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (541) 386-1645. Follow the Port’s social media feeds on Twitter (Twitter.com/PortofHoodRiver) and Facebook (Facebook.com/PortofHoodRiver) for updates.