County hopes to speed up repairs to bridge

By on Monday, February 1st, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

PENDLTON – Umatilla County Board of Commissioners Chairman George Murdock said he’s heartened by the latest word he’s received on repairing the flood-damaged Thorn Hollow Bridge.

“If we go through the normal bridge replacement cycle, it could be seven years before we can get a bridge,” Murdock said. “That just is unworkable.”

Murdock said the county and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation are working together to try and speed up the process, and the project could benefit from the transition of Congress.

“With our current state leadership, Oregon had not been on particularly friendly terms with the federal government,” Murdock wrote in his weekly newsletter. “The feds generally look at whole states rather than parts of the state which are friendly.”

Murdock said he is now aware that both of Oregon’s senators have the Thorn Hollow Bridge on their radar. He said fixing the bridge is a safety issue and he hopes there is a way to circumvent the lengthy federal process.