Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council

SR-35 Columbia River Crossing Study

Bridge History

The Columbia River Bridge, referred to locally as the Hood River Bridge, was built in 1924. The Bridge was vertically elevated and a lift span added in 1938 as the river water level was raised with the completion of the Bonneville Dam. The Port of Hood River purchased the bridge in 1950. The existing structure is 4,418 feet long and has two approximately 9.5-foot wide travel lanes with no pedestrian or bicycle facilities. It has open-grid steel decking, with a 246-foot lift span over the river navigation channel.

The Bridge spans the Columbia River, connecting the cities of White Salmon and Bingen in Washington to the City of Hood River in Oregon. This bridge is the second oldest Columbia River crossing and one of only three crossings in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. This major transportation route serves as an important link to local communities, the region, and interstate travel. The economic well-being of this region is dependent on this Columbia River crossing.

Study Purpose

The primary purpose of this project is to improve the movement of goods and people across the Columbia River between the Bingen/White Salmon, Washington and Hood River, Oregon communities.

Background

Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council (RTC) along with the Oregon and Washington Departments of Transportation (ODOT & WSDOT), the ports of Hood River and Klickitat, and the local cities and counties have been working in partnership to find a long-term solution to the Columbia River crossing between Hood River in Oregon and White Salmon and Bingen in Washington.

The SR-35 Columbia River Crossing Study was conducted in response to local business and resident concerns about the safety and viability of the existing Hood River Bridge.

The project began in 1999, with the design of a feasibility study. In 2000, the feasibility study began by identifying project issues, purpose and need statement, and a range of crossing corridors and facility alternatives. This phase (Tier I) determined and initiated the environmental review process, and narrowed the corridors and facility alternatives to those that are most promising and practical. In 2001, the next phase (Tier II) began resulting in the selection of crossing corridor, refinement of the most promising long-term alternatives, and identification of short-term improvement options. This phase also undertook a financial feasibility study to determine if there are sufficient financial resources available to fund a long-term improvement project. In 2002, the final phase (Tier III) of the feasibility study was initiated. This phase was completed in 2004, resulting in the selection of a preferred alternative through a Draft Environmental Impact Statement. In 2010, a Bridge Type, Size, and Location Study (TS&L) began. Bridge concepts were analyzed to identify the concept that best meets the needs of the region. This phase resulted in a recommended bridge type.

With a Draft Environmental Impact Statement and preliminary engineering completed, the next step in the process is the development of a Final Environmental Impact Statement. Although funding is unsecured at this time, a scope of services outline has been developed that lists the activities and areas of further study needed to complete a Final Environmental Impact Statement. Final engineering and right-of-way purchase would follow. Given current local, state, and federal transportation funding limitations, construction of the new SR-35 Columbia River Bridge is likely to be a long-term future project.

Type, Size, and Location Study (2010-2011)

Final Reports
TS&L Final Report – October 2011
TS&L Final Report, Executive Summary – October 2011
TS&L Appendix – October 2011
Technical Reports
Final Geotechnical Foundation Recommendations – May 2011
SR-35 Economic Analysis Report – October 2010
SR-35 Navigation Report Validation – September 2010
SR-35 Traffic Analysis Memo – August 2010
Project Updates
TS&L Study Folio – October 2011
SR-35 Economic Analysis Folio – October 2010
Public Involvement
Public Open House Display Boards – October 2011
Artist Renderings – September 2011
Design Workshop Notes – January 2011
SR-35 Focus Group Summary – June 2010

SR-35 Columbia River Crossing Feasibility Study (1999-2004)

Final Reports
Final Report, SR-35 Columbia River Crossing Feasibility Study – September 2004
Final Report, Executive Summary – September 2004
Draft Environmental Impact Statement – December 2003
Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Executive Summary – December 2003
Tier II Report – June 2002
Tier II Report, Executive Summary – June 2002
Tier II Report, Appendices – June 2002
Tier I Report – July 2001
Tier I Report, Executive Summary – July 2001
Technical Reports
Scope of Work for Final EIS and Preliminary Engineering – June 2004
Assessment of the National Register of Historic Places Eligibility – June 2004
Navigation Report – March 2003
Preliminary Preferred Alternative Evaluation – February 2003
DEIS Project Description – February 2003
Bridge Construction Assumptions – February 2003
Financial Feasibility Study – May 2002
Financial Feasibility Study, Summary – May 2002
Cost Estimate – April 2002
Long-Term Alternatives Screening and Recommendation - November 2001
Short/Mid Term Improvements – November 2001
Alternatives Evaluation Matrix – October 2001
Evaluation Criteria – September 2001
Range of Alternatives - September 2001
Scoping Report – June 2001
Draft Purpose and Need Statement – June 2001
Corridor Evaluation – February 2001
Facility Evaluation – February 2001
Baseline Condition Report – January 2001
Baseline Condition Report, Executive Summary – January 2001
Project Updates
Spring 2004
Spring 2003
Summer 2002
June 2002
Spring 2002
July 2001
February 2001
September 2000
August 1999
June 1999
Public Involvement
Local Advisory Committee
  • March 11, 2004
  • April 24, 2003
  • November 7, 2002
  • May 20, 2002
  • January 29, 2002
  • September 12, 2001
  • May 3, 2001
  • February 15, 2001
  • October 26, 2000
Open Houses
  • January 22, 2004
  • May 15, 2003
  • February 28, 2002
  • October 11, 2001
  • March 8, 2001
  • October 12, 2000
  • Youth Design Contest
  • February 2002
Youth Design Contest
  • February 2002