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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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Open Trench Excavation

Open trench excavation is the traditional and most common method of sewer construction, repair or replacement. Open trench excavation consists of excavating down to and exposing the existing pipe so that it can be repaired or replaced, then backfilling the trench. The work will include some or all of these steps:

  • Materials delivered and stored in the right of way
  • Pavement cut to trench width using a pavement saw
  • Trenches dug to the curb to install laterals, which connect the individual properties to the sewer mains
  • Pavement and material removed by large equipment and loaded into dump trucks
  • Pipe installed in trench
  • Trench backfilled with sand or gravel and compacted
  • Temporary pavement installed as work progresses forward
  • Curb and sidewalk repaired or replaced if necessary or specified in plans
  • Trenches permanently paved when there is enough distance between the paving crew and the pipe crew
  • Impacted planting strips re-seeded, streets cleaned, and other remaining restoration completed as paving is finished

What to Expect During Construction

  • After construction hours, work crews may cover trenches with steel plates to restore traffic lanes until construction resumes.
  • Traffic congestion in the area will increase and you will experience delays in getting to your destination.
  • The contractor will maintain local access for residents in the construction zone, but you should expect delays.
  • Construction creates noise, vibration, and dust and will disrupt normal neighborhood activity.
  • Equipment and material will be secured and left on the street after work hours.
  • A city construction inspector will be on-site during work hours. If you have an immediate need during construction, the on-site inspector may be able to assist you.
  • There will be no loss of service to any properties during construction.
  • There may be periods of inactivity between these steps.
  • Construction hours will be 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The contractor may schedule work during the same hours on Saturdays.