By Hood River-White Salmon Bridge Replacement

Klickitat and Hood River counties have appointed the first board commissioners for the new Hood River-White Salmon Bridge Authority, which will oversee the bridge replacement project starting July 1.

The authority will assume this role from the Port of Hood River, which previously managed the project. The Bistate Working Group, an intermediary discussion body, supported the port with recommendations related to funding, design and construction of the new bridge.

The authority’s role includes overseeing design and construction of the new bridge and managing operations, maintenance and toll-setting once the new bridge is open. It will have sole access to new toll revenue, as well as decision-making authority over those funds.

“This is a critical step forward for the project,” said board First Co-Chair Mike Fox, a Port of Hood River Commissioner who served on the Bistate Working Group. “The creation of this authority brings the project under a single agency with a single purpose: to build the new bridge. This laser-focused new agency will allow us to do that work more quickly and efficiently.”

The authority will also own the new bridge. The existing bridge will remain under the ownership of the Port of Hood River until the new bridge is complete, at which point the old bridge will be demolished.

To ensure the authority’s board had equal representation from Washington and Oregon, Klickitat and Hood River counties each appointed three commissioners. Commissioners were selected based on their commitment to the project and their capacity to help the bridge to be completed on schedule; this includes a background in financing, engineering, or governance, for example. Five of the new commissioners served on the Bistate Working Group, ensuring continuity for the project.

Appointed by Hood River County:

  • Mike Fox, Commissioner, Port of Hood River (First Co-Chair)
  • Arthur Babitz, Commissioner, Hood River County
  • Grant Polson, Council Member, City of Hood River


  • Nathan DeVol, resident, Hood River County
  • Jacob Edwards, resident, Hood River County
  • Kathryn Thomas, resident, Hood River County

Appointed by Klickitat County:

  • Jacob Anderson, Commissioner, Klickitat County (Second Co-Chair)
  • Marla Keethler, Mayor, City of White Salmon
  • Doug Gibson, resident, Klickitat County


  • Seth Gilchrist, resident, Klickitat County
  • Eric Wilson, resident, Klickitat County
  • Steve Yates, resident, Klickitat County

The commissioners will initially serve one-year terms. During this time, the new authority will establish governing processes, including future terms.

“This marks an exciting moment for this project, because the authority gives Washington an equal voice in the process,” said board Second Co-Chair Jacob Anderson, a Klickitat County commissioner who also served on the Bistate Working Group. “I look forward to working with my fellow commissioners to build a new bridge that creates business opportunities and improves quality of life for those on both sides of the river.”

The bridge authority’s first board meeting will take place on July 10. Members of the public can join via Zoom or in person. Meeting details, materials and recordings will be available at

Those with questions or comments for the commissioners can submit them to

More information about the bridge authority and the commissioners, including individual contact details and their goals for the project, will be available on the project website in the coming months.