The design of a new bike path on the Hood River-White Salmon bridge is coming into focus. The Port of Hood River announced Thursday they’ve won a $3.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program that will allow them to design and engineer the path.
The bridge between the bustling and popular city on the Columbia River and the growing town of White Salmon on the Washington side, currently has no bike facilities. The bridge is so narrow it’s even scary to drive over (see below). And at 100 years old, the Port is ready to replace it with a new bridge.
Having space for cycling on this bridge will open exciting new possibilities! The design calls for a 12-foot wide, two-way bike path on the west side of the bridge. As we reported back in December 2020 when news of a bike facility first came out, some advocates said they worried that wouldn’t be wide enough. This grant will allow the Port to finalize the design and preliminary engineering for the bikeway; and there’s still a chance to make it wider.
“Bike and pedestrian access across the new bridge is critical to our local communities,” said Port of Hood River Commissioner Mike Fox in a statement. The Port also said they heard a “strong desire for adequate walking and biking amenities on the new bridge, as well as connections to existing infrastructure,” during the public outreach process.
Speaking of connections to existing infrastructure, this project will also include a new roundabout on the Washington side that will come with crosswalks and sidewalks to help get bike riders from the bridge across Highway 14 and beyond.
This is great news and will further boost non-car connectivity in the Gorge and increase the economic impact of bicycle tourism. In the coming years the Gorge will explode with cycling as the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail comes to fruition and word spreads about the amazing riding in the area.
Learn more about this project at HoodRiverBridge.org.