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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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NE 143rd Ave. and Sacramento Water Main Replacement

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Project Map

Where: NE 143rd Avenue, south of NE Sacramento Street

When: August -December 2019

Project Overview

The Water Bureau will replace 960 feet of an aging water main (pipe), install three new fire hydrants, and replace one existing fire hydrant in coming weeks. The existing main was installed in 1961 and has had six breaks in recent years. The new pipe will reduce the frequency of breaks and be more earthquake resistant.


Construction begins in August and is expected to be completed by December.

Work Hours:  Monday-Friday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. The crew will work to limit traffic impacts in the intersection of 143rd and Sacramento on school days, and there may be times when work will occur on Saturdays.

What to Expect

  • Street parking may be limited. “No Parking” barricades may be used.
  • Your street may be closed to all but local traffic during construction hours. Crews will try to keep driveways accessible, but you may have to park on a side street during construction hours.
  • Your water service may be disrupted for several hours. We will put a notice on your front door the day before any shut-off. 
  • Mail, garbage and delivery services will have access.
  • You may experience noise, dust and traffic delays.

Discolored Water

We have heard from at least one neighbor about discolored water coming from their tap.

The Contractor is using water from fire hydrants to wet the gravel and dirt they are using to fill trenches as they move up the street so that it will compact and make a good surface to drive over. There is harmless natural sediment consisting of organic material from the Bull Run Watershed resting in the pipes that serve homes and fire hydrants. The fire hydrants haven’t been operated in a while, and the movement of water through the hydrant pipes is stirring up the sediment and sending it through the system. Fire hydrants use the same pipes as people’s homes, and so some of that sediment might end up coming out of your tap.

There are no health hazards associated with the sediment in the water. The sediment is always in our system but is only visible when a change in flow is enough to disturb the sediment.

In most cases the water will clear on its own within two hours or less. Learn more online about what to do if you have discolored water here.  

What's Happening Now

We have begun work on NE 143rd Avenue south of Sacramento and closed 143rd between Sacramento and 142nd to local access only. This closure of 143rd Ave. will remain in effect until we are done with the project.

The new water main will tie into the larger system in the intersection of NE 143rd and Sacramento, and so we will be closing or limiting traffic at the intersection on four different occasions outlined below.

  • Initial closure: The contractor started work in the intersection at NE 143rd and Sacramento to install some pipe. They have finished their work this week and put in temporary paving. The intersection will be open to traffic while the contractor works their way south installing new pipe along 143rd.
  • Testing/Sanitization Activities (intermittent closures, mid to late September): Once the contractor has installed new pipe, they test and sanitize it before connecting it to the rest of the system. We expect this to take place in mid-September on weekdays between 8am and 5pm, over a period of a week or two. During this testing/sanitization phase, we will keep one lane of the intersection open and have flaggers present to guide traffic through the intersection.
  • Tie-in (late September/early October): Once we’re sure the pipe is clean and doesn’t leak, we connect it to the properties along that street. This will take at least a couple of weeks. During this time, we will keep one lane of the intersection open and have flaggers present to guide traffic through the intersection.
  • Paving (October or November): Paving will require a full closure of the intersection and take a couple of days. We will post detour signs during this time.

Please note that the dates listed are approximate and may change.

Construction Methods

Water main installation involves cutting the road surface the length and width of the pipe trench, digging the trench, replacing old pipe with new pipe, filling the trench, and restoring the road surface.

For More Information

Newsletter: Click on the link and select the checkbox next to "143rd and Sacramento" to sign up for occasional updates.  

Let us know if you have concerns as about business operations and deliveries, access needs or medical issues. We strive to provide a quick response to your concerns, minimal disruption of your residence or business, and open and honest communication with you throughout the project. 

Katy Asher (she/her), Project Outreach

Phone: 503-865-6054