MAILING ADDRESS: 1120 SW 5th Ave, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204
Environmental Services is designing a project in Willamette Heights to reconstruct about 4,800 feet of public sewer pipes. The project will also construct, repair, or replace 34 manholes, 17 storm drain inlets, and 96 service laterals that connect private properties to the public sewer. These improvements will relieve basement sewer backups at 31 properties and increase the capacity of the 100-year-old sewer system to handle combined sewage and stormwater.
Project design will continue into the spring of 2019, followed by the contractor selection process. Construction is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2019 and take a year to complete.
The map below illustrates where this project will construct sewer improvements. Some pipe work locations have changed since our last update.
Additional survey, soil sampling, and utility investigations this summer helped to determine pipe work locations, construction methods, and the new sewer alignment. Environmental Services will use a combination of open trench excavation and cured-in-place-pipe lining (CIPP) to construct sewer improvements. For details and photos about these methods, click here.
A key design decision is that Environmental Services will abandon sewer pipes and manholes under the Balch Gulch Bridge and divert sewer and stormwater flows away from the bridge to the existing system at the intersection with NW 30th Avenue. The sewer line north on NW 31st Avenue and east on NW Vaughn Street to NW 30th will be upsized to accommodate the flows from this diversion. This improvement will avoid compromising the integrity of retaining walls, a water line, the bridge abutment, and bridge pier supports, and improve future access to the system for maintenance.
This project will extend the public sewer in NW Aspen Avenue to provide properties a new connection to the public sewer. Staff will soon reach out directly to property owners in the southern section of NW Aspen Avenue just north of NW Savier Street to obtain information that will help engineers determine sewer service connection locations for those properties.
As the project map illustrates, the northern segment on NW Aspen Avenue just below NW Belgrave Avenue has been removed from the NW Thurman project. To keep it in the project would likely cause schedule delays due to the new private development and its land use review process. Therefore, Environmental Services will address the northern segment extension in a different design process and coordinate with the private developer, the Bureau of Development Services, and adjacent property owners as needed. Whether or not that extension can be constructed during the Thurman sewer reconstruction project is unknown at this time.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is coordinating landslide recovery work on NW Thurman Street. PBOT will not complete their street restoration work in 2019, but Environmental Services will still proceed with sewer construction. The alignment for the new sewer will be designed and constructed to avoid conflict with the PBOT restoration area. For questions about PBOT's landslide recovery work, please contact Geren Shankar at 503-823-4793.
Sewer construction may also require removing buried trolley track rails and ties to install new sewer pipes. As is standard with all sewer projects, Environmental Services will coordinate with PBOT on street permits, street restoration requirements, and safe traffic controls. Any pavement disturbed by this project will be restored per PBOT's guidelines.
If your basement sewer backs up or your property or street floods, please report it immediately to the city’s 24/7 Maintenance Operations hotline at 503-823-1700. They will log the issue in a tracking database, visit the location to investigate the issue, make emergency repairs where necessary, and use this information to help plan future improvements to the system. This information will also be used to improve the local surface drainage conditions where possible. Please report an issue as it is happening so responding crews can observe it. We also encourage you to call the hotline to report locations where there is a history of local surface drainage issues.
If you would like more information about the project or have questions and concerns you’d like to discuss, please call or email:
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 (NW Thurman) in your voicemail and email so we can provide you more details about what to expect in front of your property. Also, please write "NW Thurman" in the subject line of your email. Click SIGN UP to sign up for periodic email updates.
Including the project description, map and schedule
Check out current and previous communications about the project