Bridgeport ‘plugs-in’ with new vehicle charging station


Work is underway to complete the installation of a new electric car charging station in Bouska Square in downtown Bridgeport.
BRIDGEPORT – Electric cars will soon be a more frequent sight in Bridgeport thanks to a new car charging station that is nearing completion in Bouska Square in the city’s downtown core. The new station is a cooperative effort between the City of Bridgeport, the North Central Washington Economic Development District (NCWEDD) and its affiliate, Plug-in North Central Washington.

BRIDGEPORT – Electric cars will soon be a more frequent sight in Bridgeport thanks to a new car charging station that is nearing completion in Bouska Square in the city’s downtown core.
The new station is a cooperative effort between the City of Bridgeport, the North Central Washington Economic Development District (NCWEDD) and its affiliate, Plug-in North Central Washington. Completion of the station will add Bridgeport to a network of outlets that will allow drivers access to power along State Route 17 and SR 174. Other stations are located in Pateros, Grand Coulee, Wilbur and Davenport.
Bridgeport is affiliated with the NCWEDD and at its regular meetings mayor Janet Conklin promoted Bridgeport as a site for a charging station.
“One of my issues has been that a lot of these organizations are only interested in towns on Highway 97,” said Conklin. “We are not on 97, but we have people coming off our state highway and a charging station would help bring more economy into our town.”
Another issue with the Bridgeport station was placement.
“They were wanting a wall to mount it on,” said Conklin, but the city didn’t have one that was conveniently located. Eventually an agreement was reached to mount the charger on a solitary post adjacent to Bouska Square.
Randy Brooks of Chelan, a member of the Plug-In NCW committee, said his group had good reason to want a charger in Bridgeport.
“It’s really on the road from the west side Highway 20 to Grand Coulee Dam,” said Brooks. “It offers drivers the opportunity to visit Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams.”
So far, 18 charging stations have been installed in North Central Washington, said Brooks, and  plans call for adding six more. Of those, 17 were installed in partnership with a host business or municipality.
“We provided the charger and they paid for installation,” said Brooks. “Last year we received a USDA grant to pay for installation as well, as in the case with Bridgeport.”
“We are using our funds to dig the ditch for the power line and bring power to the unit,” said Conklin. “Earlier we got a grant to build a privacy fence and we’ll spruce up the area a bit.”
Brooks said Plug-In’s goal is to electrify highways into and out of the area.
“Of the 16,000-plus electric vehicles in Washington, most are in Seattle,” said Brooks. “and there are many in Spokane.”
Brooks said the current network of charging stations allows owners of electric cars to go “anywhere in the state, really.”
An online website, www.plugshare.com/ provides information on the charging stations throughout the state and offers a downloadable application for mobile devices.
 

User menu

NCW Media Newspapers