FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Vancouver, Washington -- A public open house/hearing will be held on January 22, 2004 from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm at the Best Western Hood River Inn, 1108 East Marina Way, Hood River, Oregon, to review and discuss a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the SR-35 Columbia River Crossing Feasibility Study. The DEIS has been issued by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), and Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council (RTC) and currently is available for public review. The DEIS evaluates environmental impacts of a proposed new bridge between the Bingen/White Salmon, Washington and Hood River, Oregon communities in approximately the same location as the existing bridge. The public hearing will provide opportunities to learn more about the findings and recommendations in the DEIS and provide public comments. A court reporter will be available at the open house/hearing to record public testimony.
The purpose of the SR-35 project is to improve multi-modal transportation of people and goods across the Columbia River and address current and future inadequacies and deficiencies associated with the existing Hood River Bridge. The new bridge would provide for all means of travel � cars, trucks, transit, bicycles and pedestrians � and meet current construction and design standards. It also would improve navigation along the river. It would be a two-lane fixed-span bridge, with bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The new bridge would be designed to accommodate a third lane if additional traffic warrants it in the future. The existing bridge would be demolished after completion of the new bridge.
The DEIS also evaluates short-term and mid-term improvements. These include replacing the existing steel bridge grating, installing signals or roundabouts at access road intersections with State Route 14, Marina Drive, and westbound Interstate 84 ramps, replacing toll facilities, and establishing a bridge replacement fund. Major environmental issues addressed in the DEIS include effects on threatened and endangered species, visual resources, historic properties, water quality, recreation, economics, and transportation.
The DEIS will be available for review at the Washington State Library, Hood River County Library and White Salmon Valley Community Library. The DEIS Summary also will be posted on the project website at http://www.rtc.wa.gov/studies/sr35. A copy of the DEIS also may be requested by e-mailing Dale Robins at email@example.com or calling 360-397-6067 ext. 5212.
Written comments on the DEIS should be sent to Dale Robins, RTC, P.O. Box 1366, Vancouver, WA 98666-1366; send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; or call (360) 397-6067 ext. 5212. Comments will be accepted through February 16, 2004.
If any special accommodations for language translators, disabilities, or visual or hearing impairments are needed at the open house/hearing, please contact Dale Robins at the phone number or e-mail address listed below.
For more information:
Senior Transportation Planner
Regional Transportation Council
P.O. Box 1366
Vancouver, Washington 98666-1366