HR Port seeks bridge cost reimbursement

Port of Hood River has estimated $12,000 in damages from overload traffic June 3, when I-84 was closed east of Hood River due to an oil train derailment in Mosier.

A flood of overload traffic from the Mosier derailment took a toll on the Hood River-White Salmon Bridge.

The Port of Hood River has estimated about $12,000 in damages from that day, including bridge maintenance, waived tolls and staff time. To recover that money, the port plans to file a claim for reimbursement, most likely with Union Pacific Railroad.

While Interstate 84 was closed down on the afternoon of June 3, vehicles were allowed to cross without paying tolls. The 80,000-pound weight limit was lifted, which meant some trucks weighing 120,000 pounds crossed the aging steel bridge.

“We’re going to find the right place and request for reimbursement,” Port Executive Director Michael McElwee said at Thursday’s port commission meeting. “We definitely see damage to the bridge deck … that needs to be assessed.”

Emergency crews also used the port’s containment booms to maintain spilled oil at Rock Creek, which were transported by Hood River County Sheriff’s Office Marine Deputy Quinten Nelson. The port will be seeking replacement costs for the booms.

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