ODOT: Expect more lifts of Interstate Bridge this week
Drivers traveling into Washington — beware! Rising tides are making it harder for boats to scoot along the Columbia River without raising the Interstate Bridge.
The Interstate 5 span between Oregon and Washington was lifted at least six times on Saturday, May 12, according to a report by the Oregon Department of Transportation.
"We're expecting this to continue through the coming week," says ODOT spokesman Don Hamilton. "We're getting projections that the water will rise another three feet."
ODOT says that the recent heat has triggered increased snowmelt in the region, which in turn has caused the water level to rise in the Columbia River and elsewhere.
The water isn't lapping at the bridge's causeway, but higher river levels leave less clearance for barges and high-masted pleasure yachts.
"When the river's going fast, a lot more traffic on the river will request a lift so they can pass the bridge on the right side (closer to Washington State)," adds Hamilton.
Luckily, commuters during peak hours shouldn't notice the disruption. Thanks to an agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard, ODOT does not raise the bridge from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. or from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. during most weekdays.
Bridge lifts will be permitted on Memorial Day later this month.