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TRAFFIC ADVISORY 02/21/14: Lane Shifts on SE Powell Boulevard, between SE 97th & SE 100th Avenues, Begin Sunday, February 23rd to Prepare for Water Vault Construction

By Lindsay Wochnick

During the night and early morning hours beginning Sunday, February 23, through Tuesday, February 25, 2014, Portland Water Bureau crews must close one lane of westbound traffic on SE Powell Boulevard between SE 97th Avenue and SE 100th Avenue, to prepare a work zone for an upcoming water vault excavation project. Motorists traveling east and westbound on SE Powell Boulevard will be directed by flaggers past the work zone.

After the preparation work and scheduled to start on Wednesday, February 26, 2014, a contractor for the Portland Water Bureau will begin a four-month long project to construct a large concrete vault under the westbound lane in the 9700 block of SE Powell Boulevard, directly in front of the Central Church of the Nazarene. The 30 foot wide by 60 foot long vault will house complex piping that will connect to the city’s new 25-million gallon underground reservoir atop Kelly Butte.

This work was previously scheduled to begin in early February, but was delayed due to inclement weather.

What motorists traveling on SE Powell Boulevard need to know:

  • During the vault construction, there will be no traffic lane closures on SE Powell Boulevard.
  • East and westbound traffic lanes on SE Powell Boulevard, between SE 97th Avenue and SE 100th Avenue, will be shifted around the work zone. 
  • The bicycle lane on that section of SE Powell Boulevard will be closed for safety reasons during the construction.
  • Northbound access to Interstate 205 freeway will be open.
  • The sidewalk along the south-side of SE Powell Boulevard will be open.
  • The sidewalk on the north-side of SE Powell Boulevard will be closed.
  • TriMet’s bus stops on SE Powell Boulevard near the work zone will be open. 

Please use caution when traveling on SE Powell Boulevard. Be sure to watch for construction workers, be ready for sudden stops, and obey all traffic controls and flaggers. To avoid traffic delays, motorists and bicyclists should use alternate routes. 

Construction of the vault is scheduled for completion this summer 2014, under normal weather conditions.

The Kelly Butte Reservoir will serve Portland’s east-side water customers, and be a stopover to supply water to the Washington Park Reservoir and southwest Portland area water storage tanks.

For additional information on the Kelly Butte Reservoir project, visit

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information 

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