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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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Water main repair closes Hawthorne Bridge in both directions, and some downtown streets

The Hawthorne Bridge is closed in both directions due to a water main break at Southwest 1st Avenue and Southwest Madison Street. Southwest 1st Avenue is closed between SW Jefferson and Southwest Salmon streets, and SW Madison, Main and Salmon streets are closed between Southwest 1st and 2nd avenues. 

A 16-inch water main on Southwest Madison at Southwest 1st Avenue, just at the eastbound entrance to the Hawthorne Bridge, broke mid-morning on Sunday April 9. The cast iron main was installed in 1958. Water filled Southwest 1st Avenue down to Southwest Salmon Street until water valves and gates were closed. Crews are on site initiating repairs. Repairs are expected to go through the night; the goal is to have the Hawthorne Bridge and all downtown streets open for the morning commute.

Water service is impacted to five commercial buildings in the area. Building managers have been notified to assess any water damage to basements.

Some services in the area may experience dirty water, due to agitation of sediment in the water mains.  In most cases the water will clear on its own within two hours or less. If your water is discolored:

  • Use the water to flush toilets, but  avoid running the water through filters, hot water heaters, and washing machines.
  • Wait an hour for the system to  settle, then run water at one tap for up to five minutes to see if it clears.  If it does not clear, wait another hour and try again. When the water runs clear, run water throughout the house to flush any sediment that may have been drawn into your pipes.

The traveling public is reminded to stay alert and use caution as traffic may suddenly slow or stop. To avoid traffic delays, motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes around the work site. 

The Portland Water Bureau’s Maintenance & Construction crews are ready to respond to emergencies, including water main breaks, 24-hours a day, seven days a week. On average, crews respond to 200 main breaks a year.