Infrastructure Get to Know Skamania County

Highway

Skamania County is served by two major east-west highways; State Highway 14 along the northern bank of the Columbia River in Washington State and Interstate 84 along the southern bank in the State of Oregon. The Hood River Bridge, the Bridge of the Gods (two miles west of Stevenson) and Interstate 205 link the two highways. State Highway 14 also links Skamania County with the tri-cities in eastern Washington and the Yakima Valley in central Washington. The distance from mid-Skamania County to Interstate 5, which runs north-south from Canada to Mexico is approximately 45 miles west.

Rail

Burlington Northern Railroad provides freight service in Skamania County. Industrial team track and reload facilities for the Union Pacific Railroad are located in Cascade Locks, Oregon less than 15 miles from most industrial property in the County.

Air

Portland International Airport, serving thirteen major commercial air carriers and nineteen cargo carriers, is located less than 45 minutes from most of Skamania County. There are a total of 58 gates to accommodate scheduled passenger air carriers serving the region. Cargo carriers are based at modern facilities surrounding the terminal building.

Water

Skamania County is located within one hour of two full-service international ports; the Port of Vancouver, Washington and the Port of Portland, Oregon. The ports are located on the Columbia River’s deep draft channel. The shipping channel is maintained at a minimum depth of 40 feet. The marine terminal of each Port is capable of handling diverse cargoes including bulk concentrates, wood products, agricultural commodities, steel and containers. A full complement of freight forwarders, custom brokers and container-stuffing operations are located in the metropolitan area.

Electricity

Electrical costs in Skamania County are among the lowest in the United States. Skamania County Public Utility District #1 serves residential, commercial and industrial power consumers in Skamania County. The utility’s status as a public utility district and a preferred customer of the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) which provides for a virtually unlimited supply of low cost hydroelectric power.

Telecommunications

Most of Skamania County receives telecommunications service from CenturyLink (formerly Embarq & Sprint-United Telephone Northwest) and Saw.Net. The entire County is served with advanced, digital switching, which allows for a broad range of business products and services such as digital PBX and key systems, wireless key systems and centrex services as well as high speed private line data transmission, video conferencing and LAN installation and management.

The City of Stevenson has fiber optic throughout the downtown, which is owned and operated by local internet service provider, Saw.Net. Saw.Net was the first provider in Skamania County, starting in 1995, and now provides wireless service to most of the County.

The City of Stevenson also sponsors free Wi-Fi access to anyone visiting the city. The EDC continues to work with the County, Cities and the Port of Skamania County to provide fiber optic and satellite service through the Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet). This ongoing project will bring economical access to high-speed telecommunications to the County and create new opportunities for education, social and health services and economic development.

Natural Gas

Two natural gas suppliers serve Skamania County. Northwest Natural Gas serves the community of Carson and the city of North Bonneville. Avista (formerly the Washington Water Power Company) serves the City of Stevenson.

Northwest Natural Gas obtains 50 percent of its supply from Canada with the remainder provided by domestic sources. Avista obtains its supply from Canada through Northwest Pipeline and Pacific Gas Transmission.

In 2003, Residential Gas Bills in Skamania County averaged $89.00 per usage of 100 therms/month (excludes state and/or local taxes). This is considerably lower than major Northwest cities.

In 2003, Industrial Gas Bills in Skamania County average $1720.00 per usage of 2000 therms/month (excludes state and/or local taxes). This compares favorably to major Northwest cities.

Source: Northwest Natural Gas