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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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How Portland's streets are maintained and repaired

PBOT PavingAll of us – whether we walk, drive, bicycle or use public transit – rely on city streets that are in good working order to travel about safely for our daily activities, and businesses rely on this same system to deliver goods and services.

Minor repairs such as potholes or emergencies (such as a downed tree in the road) are rapidly addressed. Major projects, such as changing the number of traffic lanes on a street or adding bicycle lanes or new signals for pedestrian crossings, may take months or even years to plan and to ensure community involvement in the design.The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is continually working to keep Portland’s 4,842 lane miles of streets in the best condition possible and to maximize the value of a limited budget. We strive to respond as quickly and thoughtfully as possible to your needs. Our annual goal is to preserve 100 lane miles of city streets. In reality, we plan over 100 lane miles of street maintenance because we often run into conflicts with other planned work that we can’t forsee in advance and/or we find unforeseen conditions that weren’t present when we rated and selected streets for preservation. We build in options.


In FY 2015-16, PBOT expects to apply more crack seal to arterial streets, as a way to extend the life of those streets and avoid more costly rebuilds and repaving projects. We are often asked why we’re working on a road that doesn’t appear to be in bad condition; especially from neighborhoods where there are streets in bad shape. The purpose of fog seal and crack seal is to identify those streets in good condition, on the verge of falling to fair, and doing preventative maintenance to extend their useful life. It can cost ten times more to rehabilitate or reconstruct a road in very poor condition than it would to perform preventive maintenance earlier in the road’s life.  By doing preventative maintenance, we are stretching our resources and doing the right fix at the right time.

Portland Bureau of Transportation's Budget