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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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1120 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 1302
Portland, Oregon 97204

503-823-PLAY (7529)

Ken Rumbaugh, Community Engagement Specialist


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Eastbank Espalande Maintenance Project

  • Temporary closure ahead for improvements to Eastbank Esplanade Maintenance and repair work begin on February 1, 2019

  • Closure ahead? Use Better Naito instead! PBOT and PP&R are pleased to announce that Better Naito will open on January 28, 2019

Temporary closure ahead for Eastbank Esplanade Improvements:
Maintenance and Repair work begin on February 1 – use Better Naito for detour

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R), in partnership with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), Bureau of Environmental Services (BES), and the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) will be working to make safety, maintenance and planting improvements to the popular Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade in early 2019.

Work will begin on February 1, to repair the section of the Eastbank Esplanade path between the Steel Bridge and Hawthorne Bridge. PP&R will close this segment for about two months to make improvements and repairs.

WHAT: Eastbank Esplanade closed for repairs and improvements
WHERE: Between the Steel Bridge and Hawthorne Bridge on the eastside of the Willamette River
WHEN: Work begins February 1 with completion expected by the beginning of April 2019.

“The committed teams involved with improving the Esplanade demonstrate how well City partnerships should work,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Nick Fish. “We work better when we work together. I thank BES, PBOT, and RACC for their teamwork, and look forward to a revitalized Eastbank Esplanade.”

Project work will include:

  • PP&R replacing degraded surfaces and amenities
  • PP&R repairing lights
  • PP&R removing graffiti and trash
  • PP&R power-washing hard surfaces and repairing irrigation
  • PBOT providing the Better Naito detour (see below)
  • BES removing dead trees and invasive plant species
  • BES planting native plants
  • RACC restoring art installations

Closure ahead? Use Better Naito instead!

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and PP&R are pleased to announce that Better Naito will open on January 28, 2019, to provide a safe and comfortable detour during the Eastbank Esplanade maintenance project.  Better Naito provides the closest continuous connection between the Hawthorne and Steel bridges on the west side of the Willamette River. 

This is the third year of the Council-approved, 5-year implementation of Better Naito. Like past years, PBOT will install plastic posts to delineate one northbound motor vehicle lane on Naito Parkway between SW Main Street and NW Couch Street. There will also be a designated passenger drop off zone on SW Taylor Street to better accommodate people being dropped off by personal vehicles, taxis, and rideshares. 

PP&R has placed signage noticing the upcoming closure on and near the affected portion of the Esplanade. Throughout the closure the City will continue public involvement notifications and updates on the project. Thank you to all neighbors and visitors for their patience while we repair this well-used Portland pathway.

Eastbank Esplanade Detour Map

 “Better Naito is once again proving its worth, this time as a safe and convenient alternate route for the thousands of people who walk and bike along the Eastbank Esplanade every day,” said Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. “It is also an important first step in the implementation of projects within the Central City in Motion Plan approved by City Council in November. Community members have requested quick implementation of the projects within the plan, and we are listening. I look forward to more progress in 2019.”

Additional information about Better Naito can be found at


The Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade is one of Portland’s iconic sites and pathways, both a beloved City park and a major bicycle and pedestrian thoroughfare running approximately 1.5 miles along the east bank of the Willamette River from the Hawthorne Bridge to the Steel Bridge. At the direction of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, the Fiscal Year 2018-19 Adopted Budget includes $500,000 in one-time General Fund resources, plus $200,000 in ongoing funding for maintenance, to begin addressing the issues on the Esplanade and making safety and functional improvements.

According to PBOT, during the summer months the Eastbank Esplanade sees approximately 2,400 daily bicycle trips (almost 500 during the two-hour peak) and approximately 1,200 daily walking trips. The SW Naito Corridor (including the Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park path) is one of Portland’s busiest bikeway corridors. In the summer of 2018 it attracted approximately 5,200 daily bicycle trips. 

The Esplanade was named after Mayor Vera Katz in November 2004 to honor her vision and leadership for Portland - which included support for the construction of the esplanade.


Questions about the project? Please contact Portland Parks & Recreation Community Engagement Specialist Ken Rumbaugh at