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Essential stewardship of the City of Portland's largest and most valuable asset
(May 28, 2019) In the coming weeks, Portland's Fixing Our Streets Program will start grinding and repaving Southwest Capitol Highway in the Multnomah Village business district and North Denver Avenue in the Kenton area.
Those are just two of eight paving projects in construction this year with the program.
Thanks to Fixing Our Streets, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is able to maintain more streets sooner, preventing potholes for years to come and avoiding the need for more expensive road reconstruction. Well maintained streets are fundamental to getting Portlanders from place to place safely and comfortably.
Everyone has a financial stake in street maintenance, because it is essential to stewardship of the City of Portland's largest and most valuable asset: its network of 4,800 lane miles of pavement on city streets, worth a replacement value of more than $8 billion.
Grind and pave projects maintain the street pavement by removing the top layers of asphalt and replacing them with fresh layers that provide a smooth surface to withstand rain, heat and snow, virtually pothole free for 15 to 20 years.
PBOT crews focus their paving work on keeping streets from falling into poor or very poor condition. This approach saves Portland money because the worse a street’s condition, the more expensive it is to fix.
Fixing Our Streets has provided funding for contractors to do work that involves deeper, more expensive road paving improvements. The program has generated jobs for a wide variety of private contractors that work on paving, excavation, and concrete, as well as electrical workers who install traffic signals. That's because repaving can often trigger the need for new corner ramps, sidewalk repairs or signals.
Fixing Our Streets has helped more widely share Portland's economic prosperity. The program started with a goal of awarding more than 30 percent of contracts to Disadvantaged, Minority-Owned, Women-Owned, Emerging Small Businesses, Service Disabled Veterans Business Enterprises (D/M/W/ESB/SDVBE) contractors.
The program more than doubled that goal--awarding 68 percent of its low-bid contracts to D/M/W/ESB/SDVBE firms, creating opportunities for businesses and workers who historically have not enjoyed equal access to economic opportunity.
Fixing Our Streets paving projects will not meet all of Portland’s pavement maintenance needs, but they represent a significant step in the right direction. They will help Portland close the gap and get more streets into the condition that Portlanders expect.
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 local funding source for transportation. Fixing Our Streets is invested in street maintenance and 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.