The Port of Hood River is executing its new Signage Master Plan for the Hood River Interstate Bridge that implements bridge signage recommendations of the Bridge Signage Needs Assessment created last year.
The Signage Master Plan identifies a coordinated system of signage that would increase motorist awareness of key bridge information, including the bridge’s weight restrictions, speed limit, narrow lanes, and tolling. The plan brings bridge signage into compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation design guidelines. In addition, a plan strategy is to remove all unnecessary signage.
The bridge is weight limited to 80,000 GVW. Weight limit enforcement is one of the most critical issues facing bridge operations due to the age and condition of the bridge. Overweight trucks and vehicles traveling over speed limits are accelerating degradation of the bridge deck structures. The new signage plan seeks to communicate weight limits with improved notification so vehicles can more easily reroute. The Port plans to implement changeable display signage for episodic events that require temporary traffic control such as lift span notifications, closures for routine bridge maintenance, single lane closures for incident response, and highway closures.
Both the Bridge Signage Master Plan and Needs Assessment were developed with the help of DKS Associates, Inc. Numerous signs have already been ordered by the Port to plan specifications for installation by Port maintenance staff. DKS Associates is implementing portions of the Signage Master Plan within the Washington and Oregon transportation departments’ rights-of-way. Signs located within ODOT and WSDOT rights-of-way require preparation of engineered plans, plus specifications and coordination with agencies for permits. DKS will perform these services, and all new signage should be in place by the summer of 2017.