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The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

MAILING ADDRESS: 1120 SW 5th Ave, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Project Overview

Environmental Services is designing a project in NW Thurman Street to reconstruct more than 3,000 feet of public sewer pipes. The project will also construct new manholes, storm drains, and service laterals that connect private properties to the public sewer. These improvements will increase the capacity of the 100-year-old infrastructure to accommodate future growth in the area and relieve basement sewer backups at 31 properties.


Project design will continue into the spring of 2019. Construction is anticipated to begin in the summer of 2019 and take about a year to complete.


The project area is bounded by NW Thurman Street to the north, NW Aspen Avenue to the west, NW Savier Street to the south, and NW 30th Avenue to the east. The current design proposes sewer improvements in NW Thurman Street, NW 32nd Avenue, NW Franklin Court, and NW Savier Street. In addition, we are looking at extending the public sewer in NW Aspen Avenue to provide properties a new connection to the public sewer. We will reach out to those properties directly as needed throughout the project.

Project Map

Project map


The purpose of this project is to relieve basement sewer backup risk at 31 properties in the project area. To that end, this project is looking at upsizing or repairing portions of the 100-year-old public sewer main line to increase its capacity to handle combined sewer and stormwater.

Engineers are also exploring ways to reduce rocky debris in stormwater that drains from Forest Park into the combined sewer in NW Thurman Street. This, too, is to help increase the capacity of sewer pipes and reduce basement sewer backup risk.


Designing this project is complex due to several challenging conditions -- multiple soil types, buried trolley tracks, curvature of the street, nearby landslide recovery efforts, location of other utilities, limited parking supply, traffic controls, and the bridge. These and other factors will make reconstructing the sewer system challenging. The soil sampling and compaction tests that we completed in August 2017 helped us better understand some of these conditions.

Coordination with Transportation

This project may require removing buried trolley tracks -- old rails and ties -- to install new sewer pipes. As is standard with all our projects, we will work with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) on street permits, street restoration requirements, and safe traffic controls. Any pavement disturbed by this project will be restored per PBOT’s guidelines. We are aware of PBOT’s landslide recovery work, which is a priority over our sewer design and construction. We are coordinating with PBOT on sewer work in the landslide area.

Thank You

Because the neighborhood has been through other major construction projects recently, including a bridge replacement in 2014 and a paving project in 2012, we understand that residents may be growing weary of construction activities and traffic controls. Thank you for your patience and cooperation as Environmental Services works to complete this major capital improvement project to provide another 100 years of public sewer service.

For More Information

If you would like more information about the project or have questions and concerns you’d like to discuss, please call or email:

Cheryl Kuck
Community Outreach
Phone: 503-823-7898

If you have a question about pipe work near you, please include your name, property address, and project name (NW Thurman) in your voicemail and email so we can provide you more details about what to expect in front of your property. Also, please write "NW Thurman" in the subject line of your email. Click SIGN UP to sign up for periodic email updates.