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Portland Bureau of Transportation

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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.