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Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Avenue, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204

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Grant Park Sewer Repair

January 29, 2015 UPDATE

The Grant Park Sewer Repair Project will replace or repair about 11,500 feet of public sewer pipes that are between 89 and 104 years old and failing due to age. The project will increase sewer capacity and reduce the risks of street flooding and sewage releases to homes, businesses and streets. Construction should be completed by March 2015.

Current Construction Activities
Two crews are working on sewer and lateral pipe repairs and restoration in the area. Please be aware that construction schedules are subject to change due to conditions underground, weather, traffic, subcontractor schedules and availability of materials. As the contractor uses different equipment or specialized crews at each site, you will notice several work phases.


  • The city’s contractor is allowed to work on Fridays and Saturdays, but is typically choosing not to.     

Sewer repairs underway or upcoming:

  • NE 28th Avenue near Brazee - Open cut spot repairs of pipe, followed by pipe lining
  • NE 28th Avenue between U.S. Grant Place and Thompson - Open cut spot repairs
  • NE Schuyler, between NE 27th and 32nd - Pipe bursting is expected to begin the week of February 2. Expect work in the following phases:
    • Small excavation in front of each home to make temporary sewer connections
    • Noise and vibration as the equipment bursts the old pipe and pulls the new pipe into place behind it
    • Parking and some driveway access on NE Schuyler will be affected.
  • Week of February 9 (Monday-Friday) - Cured-in-place pipe lining will occur on several blocks. Exact locations are still being determined, so keep watching for updates. Go to for more details on cured-in-place pipe lining.
  • NE 31st Avenue, south of Knott - A spot repair will start soon.
  • Pavement restoration of spot repair areas continues. Expect crews to be working at the following locations soon:
    • NE 32nd Court between Thompson and Knott streets – Watch for one-way traffic signage. Crews will also return for cured-in-place pipe lining.
    • NE 26th Avenue between Thompson and Brazee streets – Watch for one-way traffic signage.
    • NE 29th Avenue between Knott and Stanton streets.
    • Various  street and driveway patch locations.Asphalt and concrete road restoration will continue to be scheduled and is dependent on weather. Asphalt paving is generally fairly quick, while concrete restoration takes additional time. Concrete must reach a specific hardness before vehicles can be allowed to drive on it. This will result in some coned off driveways or streets being closed except for local access only. Several streets will be reduced temporarily to one-way traffic during this concrete restoration work.

What to Expect During Pipe Bursting

  • Crews will excavate at each lateral to the mainline and make temporary connections.
  • A pit will be dug in the street to allow equipment access.
  • A block-long pipe will be assembled and will extend into the adjacent block beyond the repair area.
  • Crews insert a conical bursting head into the existing pipe via the pit and lay new pipe behind the bursting equipment.
  • The bursting head moves forward, shatters existing pipe and forces pipe fragments into the surrounding soil.
  • This can block one or more intersections and driveways for up to several hours.
  • The equipment is loud and causes vibration that you may feel in your home or business. This is standard for this method of construction.
  • At the end of each work day, crews will cover trenches with steel plates that are bumpy but safe to drive on.
  • Pipe-bursting involves a lot of preparation and post-bursting work but actual pipe-bursting takes just a few hours.

What to Expect During Cured-in-Place Pipe Lining

  • Construction crews access sewer pipes through manholes in the streets.
  • Preparation and restoration will take a couple of days but the pipe lining process should only take one day at each location.
  • You may notice an odor during the pipe lining process but it will dissipate quickly. To help reduce odors, run water in all sinks and basins to fill p-traps and completely cover floor drains with a wet towel or a zip bag filled with water.

Grant Park Sewer Repair Project Map

What to Expect During Construction

  • Work hours are 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, but the contractor may schedule work during the same hours on Saturdays.
  • Construction will create noise, vibration and dust and will disrupt normal neighborhood activity.
  • Minor tree trimming may occur in the public right-of-way.
  • Traffic control signs will be set up, and flaggers may direct traffic on higher-volume streets.
  • On-street parking in or near active work areas is prohibited during construction hours. Please plan to move your vehicle by 7:00 a.m. in work zones.
  • Equipment and materials may be stored on nearby streets overnight.
  • There may be periods of inactivity between construction phases.
  • A city inspector will be on-site during work hours and may be able to assist you with construction concerns. Inspectors typically wear a hard hat and a green City of Portland safety vest.
  • Please stay clear of all construction activities and keep children and pets out of construction areas.
  • You should receive a doorhanger notice a few days before work starts on your street.

Keep in mind schedules are always subject to changes due to weather, supply availability, or other issues. 

Sewer Construction Methods

The city is using a combination of open trench construction, cured-in-place-pipe lining (CIPP), and pipe bursting for this project. The contractor may use more than one construction method in some areas. For example, the contractor may use CIPP on the main public sewer pipe and open trench construction to repair or replace laterals that connect private sewers from the curb to the public sewer in the street.

Open trench installation is done in phases:

  • Saw cut pavement along the width of the trench
  • Remove pavement and existing material
  • Install public sewer pipe in the street
  • Backfill trench with sand or gravel
  • Replace laterals that connect private sewers to the system (from the curb to the street)
  • Restore surface temporarily with an asphalt patch
  • Complete final paving
  • Restore other areas disturbed by construction, such as sidewalks, driveway aprons and planting strips

Cured-in-place-pipe lining (CIPP) doesn’t require digging a trench. Work crews access the sewer from manholes to insert a flexible liner inside the old pipe. Hot water or steam inflates and cures the liner, which gradually hardens to form a rigid, smooth surface that seals cracks and restores the pipe to near-new condition. People who live and work near a CIPP repair project sometimes smell a chemical odor during the pipe-lining work. The odor is from the chemical styrene, which is in the resin liner installed inside the pipe. The odor dissipates quickly once the installation process is complete. The amount of airborne styrene produced is not a human health risk.

Pipe bursting involves digging an access pit and inserting a bursting head into the existing sewer line. The bursting head breaks the old pipe apart and pulls the new pipe into place behind it. Construction crews retrieve the bursting head from a second access pit.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation during this project. Please let us know if you have concerns such as business operations, disability issues, or medical or business deliveries. As always, we’ll strive to provide quick response to your concerns, minimal disruption near your residence or business, and open and clear communication with you throughout the project.


For More Information

Contact Kristen Kibler with JLA Public Involvement  at 503-235-5881, extension 106, if you have concerns, such as maintaining driveway access, business operations, or medical deliveries, during construction.

Email Kristen  with "Grant Park" in the subject line to receive project updates by email. During construction, we will be sending regular email updates to keep you posted about the schedulem, construction activities, possible traffic detours and delays, parking restrictions and other impacts.