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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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Alert: 2 lanes on SE Cesar Chavez remain closed through 9 p.m. tonight; video available (Photo)

A PBOT sewer crew secures an underground cavity

(UPDATE 5 p.m. Aug. 17, 2016) -- Two lanes of SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd are expected to remain closed through 9 p.m. tonight at SE Alder Street as crews repair underground cavities, the Portland Bureau of Transportation says. The left lane northbound and the left lane southbound were closed after 11 p.m. Tuesday night and were closed all day today. 


Two travel lanes remain open, one each direction, though all traffic has been diverted to the eastern half of the roadway.

An 8-inch terra-cotta sewer pipe believed to be built in the year 1900 was found to have been broken, causing water to erode the surrounding soil, undermining the road surface. A concrete plug from an old connection to a nearby home may have failed, contributing to the damage. A video by PBOT crews shows standing water inside the sewer pipe, indicating a sunken section of pipe that also caused some erosion in the area or may have been caused by erosion from a nearby break. The exact cause of the breaks in the sewer main that led to the erosion has not been determined.

PBOT crews found an underground cavity approximately 8 feet wide, 8 feet long and as much as 8 feet tall in some areas under the road surface.

PBOT has posted HD video of standing water in a sunken section of the pipe.

Video courtesy Portland Bureau of Transportation: https://youtu.be/gYG5QtJIQJ4

Pictures by Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Standing water in a sewer main indicates a sunken section

Travelers should avoid the area of SE Cesar E Chavez and SE Alder Street if possible, use alternate routes and expect delays when traveling in the area. SE Alder Street is closed to all but local residents between SE 38th Avenue and SE Cesar E Chavez.

The closure is located between SE Stark Street to the north and SE Belmont Street to the south, so travelers may want to turn off of Cesar E Chavez at those points or elsewhere to avoid delays.

Earlier post below.
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(Aug. 17, 2016) -- The Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that two lanes of SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd are expected to remain closed through 5 p.m. today at SE Alder Street as crews inspect and repair underground cavities. The left lane northbound and the left lane southbound were closed after 11 p.m. Tuesday night.

One lane each direction on SE Cesar E Chavez is expected to remain open to traffic as crews make repairs the the road surface and underground utilities. Travel lanes on SE Alder Street are not affected, but travelers should expect delays on SE Alder Street and avoid the area if possible.

Travelers should avoid the area of SE Cesar E Chavez and SE Alder Street if possible, use alternate routes and expect delays when traveling in the area. The available lanes on SE Cesar E Chavez may change throughout the day. Two-way traffic may be shifted to the northbound lanes, if required to make the repairs, so travelers should pay close attention to lane closure signage leading up to this location.

The closure is located between SE Stark Street to the north and SE Belmont Street to the south, so travelers may want to turn off of Cesar E Chavez at those points or elsewhere to avoid delays.

We will post an update as we learn more about the cause of the road damage and timing of the road closure. It appears a leaking sewer line, more than 100 years old, may have caused the underground cavity. Two small holes in the roadway were visible late Tuesday night, exposing an underground cavity more than 3 feet in diameter and about 7 feet deep below SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd.

The traveling public is advised to use alternate routes if possible, expect delays and use caution when traveling in the area.

PBOT conducts emergency repairs to sewer and stormwater lines in the public right of way in Portland.

Underground cavities can be caused by sewer or water line leaks, damage caused by construction crews, the result of underground streams or weather events. Small cavities in city streets may be a sign of a larger underground problem. The public is advised to call PBOT's 24 hour dispatch to report sinkholes or other roadway hazards at 503-823-1700.


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The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City's transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation

Contact Info:
Dylan Rivera 503-577-7534

 

Traffic Alert: Two lanes on SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd to remain closed at SE Alder St through 5 p.m. for repairs to an underground cavity

(Aug. 11, 2016) -- The Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that two lanes of SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd are expected to remain closed through 5 p.m. today at SE Alder Street as crews inspect and repair underground cavities. The left lane northbound and the left lane southbound were closed after 11 p.m. Tuesday night.

One lane each direction on SE Cesar E Chavez is expected to remain open to traffic as crews make repairs the the road surface and underground utilities. Travel lanes on SE Alder Street are not affected, but travelers should expect delays on SE Alder Street and avoid the area if possible.

Travelers should avoid the area of SE Cesar E Chavez and SE Alder Street if possible, use alternate routes and expect delays when traveling in the area. The available lanes on SE Cesar E Chavez may change throughout the day. Two-way traffic may be shifted to the northbound lanes, if required to make the repairs, so travelers should pay close attention to lane closure signage leading up to this location.

The closure is located between SE Stark Street to the north and SE Belmont Street to the south, so travelers may want to turn off of Cesar E Chavez at those points or elsewhere to avoid delays.

We will post an update as we learn more about the cause of the road damage and timing of the road closure. It appears a leaking sewer line, more than 100 years old, may have caused the underground cavity. Two small holes in the roadway were visible late Tuesday night, exposing an underground cavity more than 3 feet in diameter and about 7 feet deep below SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd.

The traveling public is advised to use alternate routes if possible, expect delays and use caution when traveling in the area.

PBOT conducts emergency repairs to sewer and stormwater lines in the public right of way in Portland.

Underground cavities can be caused by sewer or water line leaks, damage caused by construction crews, the result of underground streams or weather events. Small cavities in city streets may be a sign of a larger underground problem. The public is advised to call PBOT's 24 hour dispatch to report sinkholes or other roadway hazards at 503-823-1700.


###

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City's transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation