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News Release: PBOT, BES, other agencies launch to notify public about downtown construction projects

Note: This news release is an edited version of the joint release issued by PBOT today.

(March 9, 2017) Today, the Portland Bureau of Transportation, the Bureau of Environmental Services, the Portland Water Bureau, Portland Parks & Recreation, Multnomah County, the Oregon Department of Transportation, TriMet, and Portland Streetcar announced Get Portland Moving, an ambitious effort to bring a new level of coordination to construction and maintenance projects on the streets of the Central Business District and Cully neighborhood.Get Portland Moving banner

Throughout 2017 and into 2018, the Central Business District will be the site of multiple projects to repair and replace aging streets, sewers, rail track beds and machinery, bridge structures and other important community assets throughout downtown. 

While these important improvement projects will result in long-term gains for Portland and the greater region, the work will cause temporary disruptions for residents, businesses, and visitors in the short-term.

To lessen the construction impacts and to work more efficiently, the Get Portland Moving partners have come together to coordinate planned work on city streets, state highways, county bridges and transit lines. The partner agencies are aligning construction schedules to minimize competing demands and to maximize the opportunity to get as much work done in a specific area at the same time, saving time and avoiding the need to disrupt travel multiple times.  

An example of this coordination is the retiming of the Bureau of Environmental Services’ major sewer repair work along SW Yamhill and SW Morrison streets, Multnomah County’s Burnside Bridge project and Portland Parks & Recreation’s project at the Pioneer Square South MAX Station. All of this work will be aligned with TriMet’s planned Morrison-Yamhill MAX Improvements project. This coordination will limit MAX service interruption to a single disruption from Sunday, April 30th through Saturday, May 20th. Members of the public can learn more at Portland Streetcar service will be disrupted during the first two weeks of the project.

In accordance with the City’s administrative rule on the safe accommodation of pedestrians and cyclists in and around construction zones, all partners have pledged to make safe access for people walking, biking and rolling a priority.

To provide the travelling public with up-to-date information about construction impacts, PBOT has partnered with Waze, the free, crowdsourced traffic and navigation app that helps users plan their trips. PBOT will share road closure information with Waze to communicate to its more than 175,000 monthly drivers in Portland. Road closures and suggested travel routes, as provided by Waze, will be available on the Waze app (available on smartphones) and online. Road closures, major project details, and additional information about Get Portland Moving can be found at:

To encourage commuters and visitors who are seeking alternatives to driving, BIKETOWN, Portland’s bike share system, will be offering discounts to new riders during major closure events, such as the MAX disruption in downtown Portland in April - May.

“This construction season we’re going to have to go through some short-term pain for some long-term gain,” said Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman. “That is why Get Portland Moving is so critical. With eight agencies working together -- a really unprecedented level of coordination -- we minimize the disruptions and maximize the results for Portlanders. I am also very happy to have a private-sector partner like Waze on board to help us get Portlanders information they can use to plan their travels.”

“As the steward of our streets, PBOT has a responsibility to ensure that when construction work is done, it is done safely and efficiently. That is why we have spearheaded Get Portland Moving,” said Director Leah Treat. “I am especially pleased that all of the partners will be prioritizing safe access for people walking, biking and rolling during their projects in support of our regional Vision Zero initiative.”

"We will be working on repairs to three downtown bridges this year," said Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson.  "We're working to minimize inconvenience to commuters by coordinating schedules so lanes will be closed on only two bridges at a time. We are also working with TriMet so that both agencies can complete repairs when the MAX station under the Burnside Bridge is closed this spring."

“By coordinating with TriMet, we will minimize disruption to the public and be able to condense several months of urgent repairs along Yamhill and Morrison streets into just nine weeks this spring,” said Environmental Services Director Mike Jordan. “Coordination allows us to maximize the amount of critical work we can get done on this corridor. Our investment to repair sewers that were built as long ago as 1880 will improve the reliability of our system in the downtown core, prevent disruptive sewer failures and protect the public, businesses and our environment.”

"TriMet thanks our partners for their cooperation and efforts to further reduce the impact to our riders by tackling their projects during our MAX improvements as their work would have otherwise led to separate disruptions,” said TriMet Chief Operating Officer Doug Kelsey. "We also want to thank our customers for their patience as we work to rejuvenate this 30+ year section of the MAX system, especially at SW 11th Avenue, which was originally the end of the community’s first ever MAX line. This work is necessary to improve the ride while increasing the resiliency of the system as we work to make MAX - and our entire transit system - better for our customers."

“This summer ODOT is widening U.S. 26, constructing safety projects across the region and will be installing more RealTime signs to provide drivers with up to the minute traffic info to choose the most efficient route,” said ODOT Region 1 Manger Rian Windsheimer. “Visit to review your route and “Know Before You GO!”

“The Portland Water Bureau is pleased to work alongside our partners to make necessary infrastructure upgrades that will improve our city for the next generation of Portlanders,” said Portland Water Bureau Director Mike Stuhr.

“The long-awaited restoration of Pioneer Courthouse Square is underway and on schedule,” says Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté. “More than 70% of Portland voters approved the Parks Replacement Bond which makes the project possible. It is exciting to see the project proceed for the benefit of the 11 million visitors who visit and use the Square each year.”

The Cully neighborhood is also included as part of Get Portland Moving. Critical freight routes are located in Cully and a significant number of pavement restoration and signal and safety improvement projects will be undertaken in the area. By including Cully in the Get Portland Moving effort, partner agencies can improve coordination with neighborhood residents and Portland’s freight community.

Based on the results of the Get Portland Moving program in the central city and Cully, PBOT and its partners will plan how to expand this effort citywide in 2018.



The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. Learn more at