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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

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NEWS RELEASE: Police ramp up safety patrols in SE Portland light rail construction zone; issue 118 citations to date

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

Diane Dulken, Portland Bureau of Transportation, 503-823-5552

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


(PORTLAND, Ore.)--Following up on a pledge to step up enforcement around public works construction zones in SE Portland, the Portland Police Bureau has issued 118 citations, and made one arrest since July 15 around the SE 8th, 11th and12th avenue construction closures south of Division.

Construction of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project and a future quiet zone for freight and light rail have closed those crossings for three weeks beginning July 15 and with a scheduled finish date of August 5. 

In addition to the citations, Portland Police issued 22 warnings in that area.

“We are looking for distracted drivers, impaired drivers and aggressive drivers,” said Sgt. Robert Voepel of the Portland Police Bureau, “We’re also asking people to be patient and try to make eye contact with the people crossing your path.”

The police enforcement is part of collaboration among city bureaus and TriMet to ensure safety and minimize the impact of several large-scale construction projects this summer inSoutheast Portland.

Some of the largest transportation corridors inSoutheast Portlandwill be closed around the clock for weeks at a time this summer. Portland Police have stepped up enforcement around those zones:

  • More than 200 citations were issued when SE Cesar Chavez closed on June 28 and reopened on July 9 – 10 days early.
  • Enforcement is being stepped up currently around      the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project which involves closures      along Southeast 8th through 12th avenues from July 15 to August 5.
  • Following that project, on Aug. 5, sewer      construction will closeSE        Division StreetfromSE 26th AvenuetoSE 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.


“Police are really concerned that people will come to these closures, get frustrated and drive too fast through the neighborhood streets,” Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation, said at the start of the construction season. “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.”


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.

Detours for the crossings are:

  • 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.


People 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: