Repair work scheduled to start earlier this week on the Hood River Bridge has now been pushed back according to the Port of Hood River.
Michael McElwee, the port’s executive director, reported that work on the bridge overlay project will now start Monday, July 21 and will result in one-lane closures on the bridge during weekdays.
The $266,000 project was described by McElwee as “essentially a repaving job,” that will repair the Washington and Oregon approaches of the bridge that have become worn and pitted due to vehicle travel.
Other work will consist of addressing spalling that has occurred on the concrete pilings that make up the bridge bents — or supports in lay terms — near the BNSF railroad tracks on the Washington side of the bridge.
According to McElwee, spalling is, in essence, the weathering and chipping of concrete that is often produced by normal wear and tear that is caused by the elements.
McElwee said that Wildish Standard Paving, a construction company based out of Eugene that has previously worked with the port on bridge projects, “came in with a tighter schedule” than was originally discussed and will have to “hit it hard” to complete the project on time.
One-lane closures are now scheduled weekdays from Monday, July 21 to Friday Aug. 8, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Motorists should expect wait times of 10-15 minutes for the duration of the project. Anne Medenbach, the port’s development and property manager, reported that up to four nighttime full closures of the bridge are still anticipated to occur, when contractors will be doing striping work.
Closures would occur from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. on either a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, although Medenbach said the exact dates wouldn’t be known until work starts. Provisions are in place to allow emergency and law enforcement vehicles to cross the bridge if necessary.
Anyone with questions about the project can contact the Port of Hood River at 386- 1645.