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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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News Release: Sinkhole repairs underway at SE 49th Avenue and Rhone Street

(Dec. 20, 2016) - City of Portland crews are evaluating and repairing a sinkhole that opened up this morning on SE 49th Avenue between SE Powell Boulevard and Rhone Street. The street is closed to through traffic. Local access will be provided.

 The sinkhole is about 16-feet deep and 4-feet wide. Environmental Services teams are evaluating the condition of the ground and sewer pipe and working to identify a cause. They will then determine the appropriate repairs.

 Sewer service remains uninterrupted. Repairs will be made and the street expected to reopen within a few days.  Crews will be working overnight for this emergency repair.

 The street had been slated for sewer pipe replacement in July as part of the Powell Sewer Repair project, a multi-block capital project that began in May and is expected to finish in November 2017 to repair and replace aging public sewer pipe in Southeast Portland. The area’s pipes are between 60 and 104 years old.  More information on the Powell Street Repair project is at

 The sinkhole apparently was triggered when a garbage truck drove along the street, according to Portland Fire & Rescue. The truck’s rear wheel fell through the asphalt but the truck’s momentum allowed it to drive clear of the hole. No injuries were reported.  Fire & Rescue alerted the Portland Bureau of Transportation at 6:39 a.m. and city crews closed the road shortly after.

The Bureau of Environmental Services works with Portland residents and businesses to protect water quality, public health, and the environment through wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.


Media contact: Diane Dulken 503-823-6724