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The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 613, Portland, OR 97204

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SE Elliott-Spruce Alley Sewer Project

Updated August 6, 2020

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Environmental Services – your sewer and stormwater utility – is designing another project in the Ladd’s Addition neighborhood to replace approximately 650 feet of public sewer pipes that are 125 years old. The sewer located in the SE Elliot-Spruce alley between SE 12th Avenue and SE Birch Street is failing due to age and is also too small for the area. This sewer replacement will increase sewer capacity and reduce the risks of street flooding and sewage releases to homes, businesses and streets.

The Ladd’s Green Street and Sewer Project is still tentatively scheduled to begin as soon as fall 2021. The Elliot-Spruce Alley sewer pipe repair is more urgent and will be replaced, potentially as early as spring 2021.

SE Elliot-Spruce Alley Sewer Map

Soil Sampling 

Friday, August 14, crews will be working on SE Elliott-Spruce Alley to take soil samples at three locations. They will be drilling small holes in the pavement to help the design engineers understand conditions that construction crews may encounter.  

Before drilling starts, crews will be in the neighborhood to locate and mark underground utilities by painting stripes on streets and sidewalks or placing colored flags in landscaped areas. Each color indicates what is buried below: blue for water, yellow for natural gas, green for sewer, etc.   

Please visit for a list of what each color indicates, and a description of activities that occur before the sewer work can take place. 

Survey and Utility Locates

In the next several weeks, crews will be marking locations of right-of-way boundaries, utility vaults and other landmarks over the coming weeks. They may also work on the sidewalks and streets in front of your property to measure the elevation of your first floor and see if your house has a basement.

Crews locate and mark underground utilities by painting stripes or placing colored flags in appropriate areas. Each color indicates what is buried below. Blue for water, yellow for natural gas, green for sewer, etc. To learn what each color means, visit

For More Information

We will be sending periodic project email updates on the project progress. To receive updates, please email with “Ladd’s Alley” in the subject line or sign up using the link at the top of this webpage.  Let us know if you have concerns such as business operations, disability issues or medical or business deliveries.