Providing sidewalks and bike lanes on this segment of SW Capitol Highway has been a community priority for early 30 years. This segment, between SW Garden Home Road and SW Taylors Ferry Road, hosts over 8,000 vehicles per day, is served by TriMet’s #44 bus line, and currently has no sidewalks, bike lanes, pedestrian crossings or standard stormwater facilities. The city’s project development process for this corridor began with the Capitol Highway Plan in 1996 and continued with the SW Capitol Highway Plan Refinement Report in 2011 and the Capitol Highway Corridor Stormwater Concept Design in 2016. In each of these cases, the city faced challenges in developing a buildable project with limited funding and challenging physical constraints. Now, with Fixing Our Streets funds available to leverage other funding from PBOT, Environmental Services, Water Bureau, and the State of Oregon, the project can move forward. It is the largest project, by total dollar value, funded by the Fixing Our Streets gas tax approved by voters in May 2016.
As soon as funding was secured in 2016, PBOT staff gathered new input on this long-awaited project from the Southwest Portland community, including a July 30 neighborhood walk hosted by the Multnomah Neighborhood Association (MNA) and several meetings with the MNA Capitol Highway Subcommittee and the Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. (SWNI) Transportation Committee. PBOT also released a series of cross section concepts in fall 2016 for public comment and presented these concepts to the city’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee and Bicycle Advisory Committee.
PBOT developed a preferred roadway cross section concept based on this feedback and past planning efforts including the 2011 SW Capitol Highway Plan Refinement Report and the 2016 Capitol Highway Corridor Stormwater Concept Design. Available funding is not sufficient to provide complete sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides of the roadway, so the proposed cross section includes compromises that provide safe, functional facilities at lesser cost.
Community feedback revealed a strong preference for continuous sidewalk on the east side of the roadway to access the viaduct to Multnomah Village and the walking route to Barbur Transit Center, and this has been incorporated into the design. Continuous bikeways in both directions are also proposed, including a northbound “protected bike lane" separated vertically and horizontally from the roadway. An earlier proposed buffered bike lane was removed from consideration based on comments preferring additional protection from motor vehicles, which is also consistent with city and national design guidance for bike lanes on major roadways. On the west side of the roadway, a separated multi-use path is proposed to host southbound bicycling and bi-directional walking, with striping and symbols indicating where people should position themselves.
Environmental Services is partnering on stormwater management efforts along the roadway, including opportunities to improve drainage issues in adjacent neighborhoods within the four basins (see map) in the project area. The project will include stormwater inlets and underground conveyance pipes in the roadway, leading to four proposed stormwater detention basins and one stormwater filter manhole. Detention basins are proposed on the north and south sides of SW Multnomah Boulevard west of 40th Avenue, on the south side of SW Dolph Court east of Capitol Highway, and at the end of SW 42nd Avenue south of Alice Street. The latter basin work also will include stream enhancement in a tributary to Woods Creek. Environmental Services is contributing $10.5 million to the project, a significant sum.
Portland Water Bureau joined the project in 2018 based on an analysis of capital needs in the area. The water main in SW Capitol Highway will be upgraded from 6-inch to 8-inch diameter between Marigold Street and Garden Home Road, and a new main will be installed in SW Carson Street between 42nd Avenue and Capitol Highway. In addition, nine fire hydrants and one water main regulator will be replaced. The Water Bureau is contributing several million dollars to the project, attributed to the water main, hydrant and regulator upgrades.
In 2019, the city procured a construction manager / general contractor (CM/GC) for the project through a competitive, qualifications-based selection process. In contrast to the typical low bid process, CM/GC is used on larger, more complex projects. It allows the contractor to weigh in on the project design and construction methods before the design is complete, typically resulting in lower costs, better designs, and a smoother construction process. The CM/GC for this project is James W. Fowler, Co.
The city is working with the CM/GC on construction documents from October 2019 through March 2020, culminating in a "Guaranteed Maximum Price" proposal for construction that will be approved by City Council. Early work packages such as tree removal will begin in February 2020, with heavier construction anticipated to begin in April 2020. This is a major project that will take approximately 18 months to complete. The project will conclude in the early fall of 2021. Construction updates are available on this page.
Please contact the Project Manager with your comments and questions:
Capital Project Manager