Visitors spending time along the waterfront will see a number of new signs installed in the coming months, each offering valuable safety and directional information, as well as info on local history and geography.

At its April 23 meeting, the Port Commission approved a $22,521.60 personal services contract with Pageworks (about $2,500 more than the port allocated for the project in the budget) to complete Phase One of the Waterfront Wayfinding and Interpretive Signage Project.

The signage project is intended to create a cohesive “wayfinding” system for trail users that encourages exploration and enhances the trail user’s experience, said Communication and Special Projects Manager Genevieve Scholl at the April 23 meeting.

“We’re really going to give people an encyclopedic knowledge of ‘look, here’s what’s around you!’ and that’s the approach we’ve taken with these interpretive signs,” Scholl said.

This first phase includes two large, two-sided signs, each installed on existing kiosks installed at either end of the pedestrian bridge, and 12 smaller interpretive signs installed at various points along the waterfront. While these signs will serve as mile markers and offer necessary safety information, they will also include information on local history and wildlife.

The Port of Hood River has been working with Pageworks Design of Hood River on preliminary style guidelines, content and location for the interpretive signage, as well as cost estimates for the comprehensive signage plan, since 2015.

“One of the objectives was to really brand the waterfront in sort of a port way while also maintaining that park feel,” said Scholl.

Port staff have also been reaching out to experts in the community to create the content for each of the signs, which range from wind patterns in the Gorge to tribal fishing history to migratory and residential waterfowl.

Port staff intends to propose allocating $10,000 in next year’s budget to implement Phase Two of the project, which includes updates to directional, safety and warning signage at river access points along the waterfront. The project as a whole — 34 signs total — is expected to be completed by Sept. 15, 2019. 

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