(June 22, 2018) Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman and Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat joined community members today to celebrate the completion of three new sidewalk projects in East Portland.
The projects, funded by the Fixing Our Streets program, close critical gaps in sidewalks along SE Flavel Street, NE 102nd Avenue and SE 112th Avenue and add 16 new ADA-compliant curb ramps. By closing the gaps between existing sidewalks, the project creates a full 2.25 miles of streets in East Portland with complete sidewalks on both sides on the street. The result is safer access for neighborhood residents to schools, public transit and work.
The sidewalks were engineered by Emerio Design and constructed by Raimore Construction, both of which are local minority contractors. The estimated cost for the projects was $1.3 million, but final project costs were 33 percent under budget – with the total coming in under $900,000.
"As we promised Portlanders, we're putting their dime to work." said Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman. "Thanks to the voter-approved Fixing our Streets program, we're making it easier and safer for people here in East Portland to walk in the neighborhoods, visit local businesses and access the Springwater Corridor."
"These sidewalks have transformed the muddy trails on major thoroughfares that residents have relied on for years and made them into accessible pathways to local businesses, public transit stops and parks," said Leah Treat, director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation. "I am especially pleased that these projects have help us grow our partnership with two local, minority-owned firms in Portland – Emerio Design and Raimore Construction. They worked swiftly to complete this work with the minimum possible impacts for our neighbors and the traveling public, and at a competitive price."
On NE 102nd, the new sidewalks provide a much-needed safety improvement. 102nd Avenue is one of the most dangerous streets in Portland for pedestrians. PBOT’s Vision Zero Action plan ranks it in among the top 20 streets where pedestrians are killed or injured. The sidewalk provides a seamless walking route between Prescott Elementary and the Gateway Transit Center.
On SE 112th, the new sidewalks improve walking connections along a large north-south corridor and connect destinations like Kelly Butte Natural Area, Floyd Light Middle School and Mall 205. On SE Flavel, new sidewalks make it safer to walk to the MAX Green Line, the I-205 Multiuse Path, the Springwater Corridor as well as shops and restaurants on 82nd Avenue. All three projects were identified in the East Portland in Motion plan as having strong community support but remained unfunded until voters approved Measure 26-173, which created the Fixing Our Streets Program.
Fixing Our Streets projects make up approximately 20 percent of the investments in Portland’s transportation infrastructure this construction season, with a total of approximately $105 million being invested in capital projects, street repair and safety between now and September 2018.
The Fixing Our Streets program, paid for by a local gas tax approved by Portland voters in May 2016 and a heavy vehicle use tax, is Portland’s first street repair and traffic safety program financed with local funding. 56 percent of Fixing Our Streets funding is invested in street maintenance and 44 percent is invested in safety improvements. The City Council ordinance included a project list that shows specific projects that are intended to be funded. The list of projects can be found at www.fixingourstreets.com.
About the Fixing Our Streets Program
The Fixing Our Streets program is the result of the passage of Measure 26-173, a 10-cent tax on motor vehicle fuels and Portland’s first local funding source dedicated to street repair and traffic safety projects. Passed on May 17, 2016, Measure 26-173 will raise an estimated $64 million over four years. PBOT will invest this money in a wide variety of street improvement and safety projects across the entire city. Fixing Our Streets will help PBOT expand preventive street maintenance that saves money and prevents potholes. It will support our work to make it safer for children to walk to school. It will allow us to build more sidewalks, traffic signals, street lights and bike lanes. The Portland City Council also unanimously passed a Heavy Vehicle Use Tax, for vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds, which will also fund the Fixing Our Streets program.