Balch Creek Trash Rack Replacement and Repair

Sewer and Stormwater
The Balch Creek Trash Rack collects sediment, large logs, and other woody debris that Balch Creek carries down from Forest Park. It is aging and needs to be replaced. Work on this important project is now complete.
Construction began in June 2021 and was completed in the spring of 2022.
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Environmental Services works throughout the city to protect water quality and the environment. Balch Creek, in northwest Portland, runs above ground for approximately 3 ¼ miles and then enters a pipe in Macleay Park. From that point on, the creek flows underground through the pipe until it reaches the Willamette River. 

At the point in Macleay Park where Balch Creek flows into the underground pipe, a trash rack catches large debris to protect the pipe from backing up or clogging.  

The Balch Creek Trash Rack collects sediment, large logs, and other woody debris that Balch Creek carries down from the steep forested drainage area surrounding the Lower Macleay Trailhead in Forest Park. This large structure keeps the majority of sediment, rock, and floating debris from entering the low-pressure storm sewer that carries Balch Creek from Forest Park to the Willamette River.  

Lower Macleay Trail Now Open

Environmental Services is happy to announce that the Lower Macleay Trail in Portland’s Forest Park re-opened on April 2, 2022. 

Hikers and trail users are once again able to connect from the trailhead at NW Upshur Street and NW 30th Avenue up to the Stone House at the intersection with the Wildwood Trail. The staircase connecting the Thurman Street Bridge down to the park has also re-opened.

Picture of Balch Creek Trash Rack Construction Project and Re-opened Lower Macleay Trail
The Lower Macleay Trail re-opened on April 2, 2022. Park restoration will continue this spring.

Trail users should always stay on the marked path, stay out of sensitive plantings, and avoid entering any remaining portions of the construction area. 

Thank you for your patience during this important construction project. 

For More Information

Environmental Services will inform residents and businesses about project activities and respond to questions and concerns in a timely manner. The following resources will help you stay informed and report concerns:  

  • Sewer Emergency or Odor Concern: Call 503-823-1700 immediately. The City Maintenance hotline is staffed all hours, all days (24/7).  

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