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The Hood River – White Salmon Interstate Bridge was built in 1924 and studies show a replacement is needed.

The public will have another chance to provide input on the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge Replacement Project on Thursday, Sept. 12, during a project meeting at the White Salmon Fire Department. The meeting runs 4-6 p.m., and there will be a reserved time for public comment.

The discussion will be limited to the current status of the project and steps going forward to finalize the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The meeting will be the fourth gathering of the EIS Working Group, a discussion body of representatives from both sides of the river intended to advise the project team on the EIS document and other National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements.

The EIS — required under NEPA for a project of this size — is a document that identifies all agencies involved in the project and how they will coordinate with each other, evaluates the impacts and benefits of the project and explores project alternatives.

Substantive changes in bridge design or location, new bridge governance and toll revenue are not part of the group’s scope of work and will be discussed after the environmental requirements are met, according to Project Director Kevin Greenwood.

The project team is currently working on a supplemental draft to the EIS that was started back in 2003, and it is expected to be done by the first quarter of 2020. After that, the final EIS will be assembled, and the project team expects to have an official Record of Decision — a formal statement that all NEPA requirements have been met — by the last quarter of 2020. The new bridge isn’t expected to be operational until 2028.

Project updates are available at portofhoodriver.com/bridge/bridge-replacement-project; for more information, email newbridge@portofhoodriver.com or contact Kevin Greenwood at 541-436-0797.

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