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The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

MAILING ADDRESS: 1120 SW 5th Ave, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204

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Taggart Sewer Outfall Repair

Updated October 26, 2018Button. Click to sign up for email updates

Tunnel Inspections This Fall

Environmental Services is preparing to repair about 3,700 feet of the 112-year-old brick Taggart Outfall sewer tunnel. Measuring from 64 to 118 inches in diameter and 20 to 65 feet deep, the large Outfall is showing signs of significant deterioration requiring repairs. A structural failure would have profound impacts on Southeast Portland, potentially flooding numerous businesses and residences. Repairs will allow the Outfall sewer to properly perform its role in protecting public health, water quality, and the environment.


Work zones will be located at manholes (see map) and will move as the project segments are completed. Work at each manhole west of the MAX light rail tracks may last several months, while work on manholes in SE 16th Avenue and in SE Tibbetts Street should be less than a month at each location. Crews may be working at multiple locations at the same time.

Taggart Outfall project map


The contractor for this project, James W. Fowler Co., will conduct closed circuit television (CCTV) inspections of the Outfall tunnel this fall, which will allow the City to confirm existing conditions and then order the materials needed to repair the Outfall. This CCTV work will take about three weeks to complete. Crews will mobilize to begin repairs in April or May of 2019 when weather will permit them to work safely inside the tunnel. Depending on the weather, construction may require two summers of work. 

What to Expect During Video Inspections

You can expect the following activities and impacts with CCTV inspections this fall:

  • Up to three weeks of CCTV inspections of the tunnel will require access to manholes.
  • The contractor will close lanes for a day or two at each work zone to access manholes.
  • Drivers should expect delays at these locations, but the contractor will provide access.
  • Work hours will be 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday if necessary. The Portland Noise Office approved night work in the industrial areas of the project west of the MAX light rail tracks, where work may be performed up to 24 hours a day.
  • Staging areas for materials and equipment will be adjacent to manholes.
  • A city inspector will be on-site during work hours and may be able to assist you with an immediate need during construction.
  • Sewer, water, and other utilities will remain in service during CCTV inspections.

Tunnel Repair Construction Methods

The sewer repair method for this project can only be completed from inside the sewer tunnel. Crews will enter the Outfall from manholes and climb down 20 to 65 feet below the surface. While that avoids digging trenches in the roadway, it means crews can only work inside the tunnel on dry days when there will be no flow into the tunnel from either rain or the sewer system. For more information about the construction methods and noise mitigation measures, see the Project Overview.

Traffic Impacts

During construction, the contractor will provide local access to all properties, but drivers should expect delays. You can expect the following impacts to traffic during construction:

  • Lane closures to enable safe access to manholes
  • Temporary removal of on-street parking in and near the work zones
  • Traffic restrictions along 10th Avenue from Gideon to Woodward
  • Minor lane restrictions for a day or two at Milwaukie and Woodward
  • Lane restrictions near 16th and Pershing, 16th and Center, and Tibbetts and 19th

For More Information

If you would like more information about the project or have questions and concerns you’d like to discuss, please call or email:

Cheryl Kuck
Community Outreach
Phone: 503-823-7898

If you have a concern or question about a pipe repair near you, please be sure to include your name, property address and project name (Taggart Outfall) in your voicemail and email so we can provide you more details about what to expect in front of your property. Also, please write "Taggart" in the subject line of your email. Click SIGN UP to sign up for periodic email updates.

Project Overview

Including the project description, map and schedule

Community Outreach

Check out current and previous communications about the project