Port of HR Commission Approves Toll Increase

The Port of Hood River Commission has approved an increase in tolls for the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge.  Cash tolls for automobiles will go from one dollar to two dollars, while those using Breeze-By electronic accounts will see their toll move up from 80 cents to one dollar.  The new tolls are scheduled to go into effect on February 1, but the Commission adopted a suggestion from board member David Meriwether to push back the implementation date if the new web portal for BreezeBy customer account management isn’t up and running at least six weeks before the implementation date.  Port Executive Director Michael McElwee says they are closing in on a soft launch for the new portal, but adds there are many examples of computer systems having initial problems, and they want to make sure it’s ready for public use.  Commissioners have said the toll increase is to provide the Port with the necessary resources to both prepare for an estimated $51 million in expenditures over the next 15 years to keep the bridge safe and operational, and to enable ongoing bridge pre-replacement efforts.