COVID-19 threat prompts temporary suspension
HOOD RIVER, OR – During their March 17 meeting, the Port of Hood River Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a seven day suspension of all tolls on the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge beginning 12:01 a.m. Friday, March 20 through 12:01 a.m. Friday, March 27 while Port staff works to implement safety measures to enable continued operations at the toll booth.
The Port stopped accepting cash payments in the toll booth at midnight March 17 as a temporary emergency measure to stop person-to-person contact at the toll booth and potentially reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission in the community and to staff.
During the week-long suspension, the Port intends to consult with environmental health specialists to assess the cash-pay toll area and cash handling systems and protocols, address potential risks, and implement measures to mitigate those risks. The electronic tolling system called “BreezeBy” enables motorists with transponders to travel through automated lanes and pay tolls electronically via a prepaid account. BreezeBy is largely used by local commuters and provides a discount on the cash toll rate. BreezeBy customer accounts will not be charged for tolls during this period.
All vehicle traffic will be directed through the BreezeBy lanes at the toll plaza located on the Oregon side of the bridge. “We hope to return to full, normal operations as soon as possible,” said Commission President John Everitt. “We are asking for everyone to be patient and understanding as we work to address this really unprecedented situation.”
For more information, contact the Port of Hood River via email to email@example.com.