Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

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

More Contact Info

Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View Less

NE 33rd Drive BIG Culvert Project Completed


Environmental Services replaced a culvert at NE 33rd Drive where it crosses the Buffalo Slough, a southern arm of the Columbia Slough. The old culvert was too small and too high — all that water, trying to get through that little round metal culvert.  This warmed up the Slough and caused water quality problems. The old culvert also prevented fish and wildlife passage. The slough is home to native fish, mussels, turtles and many bird species.

The NE 33rd Drive culvert, before construction


The new box style culvert is 12 feet high and its design that allows plenty of water flow that improves water quality and fish passage. Construction required deep excavation, a temporary dam, extreme care around existing utility and fiber optic lines, and constant pumping of the high ground water in this area. The project also included building new sidewalks on NE 33rd Drive and street-side planters that manage stormwater runoff on both sides of the street. See the photos of the new culvert below, and learn more about the NE 33rd Drive Culvert Project here


The 33rd Drive culvert, after construction




Add a Comment


Colleen Cunningham

March 21, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Wow, what a difference. So much healthier flow. I can't wait to see the area after it revegetates.


Bruce Campbell

March 28, 2014 at 11:43 AM

The completed 33rd Ave. culvert is a tremendous improvement over the old one, increasing the efficiency of water flow on the Buffalo Pond. It has also been landscaped nicely with native plants. With increased pumping efficiency, however, water levels on Buffalo Pond have fluctuated drastically, adversely impacting habitat, detracting from the natural beauty of the area, and making it impossible to kayak. On some days, the water is low enough to become a mud flat--something that has never occurred before in my memory. When the water is up, it's still far below levels necessary to maintain environmental viability. I spoken to Josh McNamee at MCDD about this problem, and he hopes an engineering solution can be formulated and implemented that will safeguard and preserve the Buffalo Pond's ecosystems.

Please review our Code of Conduct rules before posting a comment to this site.
Report Abuse (Please include the specific topic and comment for the fastest response/resolution.)

Post a Comment
E-mail (visible to admins only)
 Remember Info Yes   No
Spam Prevention In the Pacific Northwest, what state is Portland in?