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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 1331, Portland, OR 97204

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Media Relations

Dylan Rivera

Public Information Officer


For breaking news from Portland Bureau of Transportation see our Twitter feed: @PBOTinfo

For breaking news on overall service disruptions in the Portland-Vancouver metro area, go to @publicalerts or see 

NEWS RELEASE: Sewer construction closure of SE Cesar Chavez Blvd ends July 9 -- 10 days early

SE Cesar Chavez Boulevard, which closed between SE Hawthorne and SE Division on June 28th, will re-open to all traffic before Tuesday morning’s commute. Environmental Services closed the street to replace a 120-year-old sewer and install a large manhole in the intersection of SE Harrison and Cesar Chavez.

  View a map and more information about several closures of major streets planned in SE Portland this summer

The city’s agreement with the project contractor, Moore Excavation of Portland, required the closure to last no longer than 21 days. By working around the clock, Moore Excavation was able to complete the sewer work in eleven days. The contractor will remove traffic controls and re-open Cesar Chavez before 1:00 a.m. tomorrow.

Portland’s sewer system contains about 2,500 miles of pipes and more than one-third of the pipes are over 80 years old. Sewer construction in SE Cesar Chavez was part of the Rose City Sewer Repair Project, which is repairing or replacing aging sewers along 21 streets in northeast, southeast and southwest Portland.

“The early completion of this project is great news for motorists, residents and business owners and I appreciate their patience while we completed this important work,” said City Commissioner Nick Fish. “This project creates an improved sewer system that will reliably serve this neighborhood and protect our environment for decades to come.”

“I want to thank those in the community who gave us such good input during the planning for this project and throughout construction,” said Environmental Services Director Dean Marriott. “The excellent community involvement was a big part of why we were able to complete this work sooner than anticipated.” Marriott also credits a well-designed traffic control plan, a 24-hour flagging operation and targeted enforcement by the Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division with helping to keep the area safe throughout construction.

This segment of the Rose City Sewer Project allows Environmental Services to abandon a 54-inch concrete and brick sewer the city constructed 120 years ago. The work included connecting several properties and storm inlets to the new sewer, which will serve thousands of properties in a two-acre area. Rose City project sewer construction will now move to SE Harrison Street, 40th Avenue and 41st Avenue with a daytime-only work schedule.

For more information contact Linc Mann, 503-823-5328.

News Release: Vista Bridge to get suicide-prevention screen under emergency measure, installation this month

(Portland,OR) - In an effort to prevent additional suicides from the iconicVistaBridge, City Commissioner Steve Novick today announced that he is ordering the immediate construction of a 9-foot-tall mesh screen on the historic span, an interim remedy that can be in place until a longer term solution and funding can be found.

“Unfortunately, this beautiful and elegant bridge has been known as Suicide Bridge since its construction in the 1920s.” said Novick, who oversees The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation. “It is time – past time – to stop the dying.”

Under City Code, a commissioner can declare an emergency when the public’s safety is endangered, a move that allows immediate action. Novick noted that in the first six months of this year, three people, including a 15-year-old girl, have jumped to their deaths from the bridge, matching the highest rate from any recent year, and that this record has created a substantial threat to the welfare and safety of the public above and below the bridge.

 Vista Bridge screen rendering

Construction of the screen mesh fence will begin in mid-July and take approximately two weeks at a cost of about $236,000. To deter climbing, the barrier is designed with a tight weave and a curved overhang. It will be installed along the inside of the railing and can be removed at any time with no permanent impact on the structure, in keeping with the bridge’s designation as a National Historic Landmark.

Tapani Inc, a company with expertise in bridgework and historic structures, including its recent work on the Vista House in the Columbia River Gorge, has been tapped to install the fence.  The bridge will remain open during the installation, with crews narrowing the extra-wide lanes to create a construction zone and allow normal traffic flow in both directions.  One sidewalk will remain open at all times.

For the long term, the City will continue to work with the State Historic Preservation Office on a solution that meets historic design guidelines and seek federal or other funding for the estimated $2.5 million to $3 million cost of a durable structure that would be consistent with the historic character of the bridge, a process that is expected to take two years or longer.

Novick thanked Kenneth and Bonnie Kahn “for their tireless advocacy for suicide barriers on the bridge,” and thanked David Stabler, reporter for The Oregonian for his February article: “Vista Bridge: Is it time to stop the dying on Portland’s iconic bridge?”

“Mr. Stabler’s article highlighted the devastation caused to victims’ families and even witnesses by suicides from the bridge, and presented strong evidence that barriers are effective in preventing suicides,” Novick said. “It was an example of how good journalism can drive public policy.”

Novick also thanked David O’Longaigh, the City’s senior bridge engineer, for his efforts to identify a temporary solution that would blend in with the existing bridge as much as possible, and could be easily removed once funding for a permanent solution is found.

“In addition to that, David himself helped convince me to make this decision,” Novick said. “David is responsible for all the bridges in the city. They are in his care. I asked him if he thought we should take this step. He said that he had come to the conclusion that the bridge has become a curse upon the City, and it is time to lift the curse.”

“We cannot bring back any of the people who have jumped from the Vista Bridge,” Novick concluded. “But we can take this step to avoid further suffering.”  



TRAFFIC ADVISORY: Street paving to close lanes on NE Marine Drive beginning Friday

(PORTLAND, Ore.) – The City of Portland Bureauof Transportation advises the traveling public that street improvements will require lane closures on NE Marine  Drive between NE 13th Avenue and NE 33rd Drive from Friday, July 12 through Friday, July 19, 2013 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

The lane closures are necessary to grind down the existing pavement and repave 1.69 lane miles of the street. The paving project will involve adding rumble strips to the centerline of Marine Drive to improve safety.  Rumble strips will be added to the newly paved section east of the residential area. The roadway will also be striped on the road edge to define parking areas and create more shoulder space for people traveling by bicycle. No on-street parking will be removed as part of this project.

One traffic lane will remain open at all times.  Local access to residences and businesses will be provided. The public is advised to expect delays, travel cautiously, observe lane closures and directions by flaggers, and use alternate routes if possible.

This work is weather-dependent, and the schedule may change.


NEWS RELEASE: Portland Streetcar to offer free rides across Broadway Bridge during sidewalk closure, Tues. July 16 through Thurs. July 18

(PORTLAND, Ore.) – To reduce the inconvenience to the traveling public during an upcoming closure of the Broadway Bridge sidewalks, Portland Streetcar Inc. will provide free rides across the bridge during the closure.

Work to maintain safety on sidewalks on the Broadway Bridge will require closing both sidewalks to the public from 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 16 until 5:30 a.m. on Friday.

City Commissioner Steve Novick, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation, said the offer of free service demonstrates how the different parts of the city’s multimodal transportation system can work together.

“Our transportation system provides many ways for Portlanders to get around,” Novick said. “Sometimes we inevitably have to inconvenience the public, and when we do we should take advantage of any way we can help reduce the disruption.”

The temporary “free” zone for streetcar service will be in place Tuesday, July 16 through Thursday, July 18, 2013 to allow an alternative to the Steel Bridge detour for pedestrians and cyclists. Fares will be required for all other trips on Portland Streetcar.

Rides covered by this program are westbound from the N Broadway & N Ross Avenue streetcar stop to NW 11th Avenue & Northrup Street, and eastbound from the NW 9th Avenue & Lovejoy Street stop to N Weidler Street & N Ross Avenue.

Free streetcar service could be especially helpful to pedestrians, who would otherwise need to walk more than half a mile to the Steel Bridge.

The Broadway Bridge is on one of the busiest bike routes in Portland, carrying 4,432 cycling trips a day in summer 2012, according to Transportation Bureau figures. Signs will indicate bicycle and pedestrian traffic detours to the Steel Bridge. Cyclists are advised to expect delays and use alternate routes, including the Steel Bridge.

The closures are required for crews to repair the non-slip coating on bridge sidewalks. The coating was installed as part of the Central Loop extension of the Portland Streetcar. Flaws in the coating are being repaired at no cost to Portland Streetcar or the City of Portland.

To limit the inconvenience to the public during the work period, the City of Portland and the contractor performing the work agreed to a full closure of the sidewalks, 24 hours a day for three days, rather than a partial closure for five days. Crews are expected to finish before Friday morning rush hour, but the work is weather dependent and schedules may change.

Streetcar service will not be affected by the weekday closures. The public is advised to travel cautiously, observe all lane closures and directions by flaggers, and use alternate routes.

The closures will not impact river traffic.


NEWS RELEASE: Police to crack down on speeding, other violations near light rail construction zone in SE Portland during 3-week closure starting Mon. July 15

News Media Contacts:
Mary Fetsch, TriMet, 503-962-6403,

Dylan Rivera, Portland Bureau of Transportation, 503-823-3723,

Sgt. Pete Simpson, Portland Police Bureau, 503-823-0830,

VIDEO of Commissioner Novick warning the public about safety and speeding:

Similar effort yielded more than 80 tickets near
SE Cesar Chavez during recent sewer construction

(JULY 12, 2013) -- The Portland Police Bureau plans to provide increased enforcement of speeding and other traffic laws starting at 5 a.m. Monday, July 15 near the closure of SE 8th, 11th and 12th avenues south of Division.

Construction of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project and a future quiet zone for freight and light rail will require the streets to be closed 24 hours a day for three weeks. Work simultaneously at the three nearby crossings south of Division Street -- much of it around the clock -- shortens the duration of the street closures.

The police enforcement is part of a collaboration among multiple city bureaus and public agencies to minimize the impact of several large-scale construction projects this summer in Southeast Portland.

“Police are really concerned that people will come to these closures, get frustrated and drive too fast through the neighborhood streets,” said Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation. “So please plan your trip, don’t drive fast through the neighborhood streets and know that the police are going to be doing some targeted enforcement of the neighborhood streets to catch people if they are speeding.”

SE 11th and 12th avenues combine to make a key north-south corridor in Southeast Portland, with an average 21,000 car trips a day, according to the Transportation Bureau. By comparison, the section of SE Cesar Chavez recently closed for sewer construction has an average 26,000 trips a day.

TriMet, the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Portland Bureau of Transportation are working on projects to expand public transit access, update the streetscape design onSE Division Streetand improve sewer service. To minimize the inconvenience to the public, the agencies have coordinated their construction schedules to try to ensure that major road closures on north-south corridors don’t overlap.

They are working with the Police Bureau to provide targeted traffic enforcement in neighborhoods near the construction zones.

Lt. Chris Davis of the Traffic Division said police will be on the lookout for motorists speeding and failing to stop for stop lights, stop signs and pedestrians.

“Our concerns are for the safety of the residents in the area, for the people traveling through the area using different modes of transportation and the construction workers themselves,”Davissaid. “We would appreciate people bringing their patience, obeying our traffic laws and keeping an eye out for pedestrians.”

Travelers are advised to use alternative routes if possible. The public is advised to travel cautiously in the work zone and to observe detours and directions by flaggers.


The crossings will be closed starting at 7 a.m. on Monday, July 15 and continuing to 5 a.m. on Monday, August 5.  

  • Motor vehicles detours pass over the rail tracks to the west of the closed crossings, largely viaSE Martin Luther King   AvenueandGrand Avenue.
  • Bus line 70-12th/NE 33rd Avenue will be detoured from SE 11th and 12th avenues. For bus route information visit
  • Cyclists should proceed north of the crossings to followHawthorne Boulevardto and from the Central Eastside and downtownPortland.
  • For maps of bicycle, pedestrian and motor vehicle detours, see the Portland-Milwaukie project construction web page.



Construction crews will complete installation of light rail tracks at the crossings, and this period of construction will also result in safety improvements to the rail crossings that will allow the City ofPortlandto apply for a quiet zone. In a quiet zone, freight and light rail train horns will only sound if there is an immediate safety issue. Once approved and all safety measures are in place, the quiet zone operation would go into effect prior to the start of light rail train service in September 2015.

Crews will also continue work on adjacent improvements to cyclist and pedestrian facilities that will create continuous routes from the east end of the multi-use path on the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge and the east bank of the Willamette River to the Clinton/SE 12th Ave Max Station and the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood. These improvements will be completed as the project work progresses over the next year.

Business support:

TriMet works to minimize construction impact on local business by

  • Expediting construction
  • Maintaining access to local businesses
  • Creating “Open for Business” signs, as well as creating an “Open For Business” web page listing SE Portlandbusinesses, their addresses, hours of business and contact information -
  • Providing one-on-one construction updates
  • 24-hour construction hotline at 503-962-2222


Residents passing through Southeast Portlandcan plan ahead by viewing the SE Portland Summer Construction Road Closures maps and details at The site includes links to the several major street closures inSoutheast Portland this summer.

About the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project

The 7.3-mile project is the region’s sixth MAX construction project to be built and extends from the terminus of the MAX Green and Yellow lines at Portland State University in Downtown Portland to South Waterfront, SE Portland, Milwaukie and North Clackamas County. About the project:


  • 7.3 miles
  • 10 stations
  • The first of its kind multi-modal bridge over the Willamette River that will carry light rail, buses, bikes, pedestrians and a future Portland Streetcar extension, but no private vehicles.
  • Opens in September 2015
  • Expands the MAX system to 60 miles and 97 stations
  • For more information, see


Some of the largest transportation corridors inSoutheast Portlandwill be closed around the clock for weeks at a time this summer.

  • SE Cesar Chavez closed on June 28 and reopened on July 9 – 10 days early.
  • Construction related to the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project will close Southeast 8th through 12th avenues      from July 15 to August 5.
  • On Aug. 5, sewer construction will close SE Division Street from SE 26th Avenue to SE 28th Place, for 24 hours a day through Aug. 24. On Aug. 25, sewer construction will close SE Division between SE 34th and SE 37th avenues for 24 hours a day      through Aug. 31.