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Balch Creek Trash Rack Replacement and Repair

Sewer and Stormwater
Active
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 to help reduce the chance of future clogs, backups, and floods.
Construction began in June 2021 and will take about six months to complete.
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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.  

Project Area

Map of Balch Creek Trash Rack Project Area
Balch Creek Trash Rack Repair Project Area

Project Description

Crews will begin by fencing the site and bringing in materials and equipment. A temporary trail will be installed around the work zone to provide access to the Lower Macleay Trail.  Crews will deconstruct the old trash rack facility, then install new concrete pads for maintenance access, rebuild rock walls, and install a new steel "rack" system that will catch debris during wet weather. Work inside the banks of Balch Creek will occur during the summer when it will have the least impact to the creek.

Before work is complete, crews will also construct three new water quality facilities to manage the stormwater runoff generated by the new concrete maintenance access areas.  These planters will be planted with native species. You can learn more about water quality facilities/green streets here.

After work is complete, the crews will remove the fence and restore the trail. 

Trail Access

Crews will work to maintain access to the Lower Macleay Trail throughout the project, however some trail closures may be necessary to ensure safety of crews and the public.  The staircase down to the park from NW Thurman will be closed for the duration of the project. 

You may experience brief delays while equipment and materials are brought in across the trail near the construction site.  Please obey flaggers and signs and stay well away from all equipment and construction activity.

Pollinator Garden

The Pollinator Garden at the north end of the Trash Rack will be restored after construction.

What's Happening Now 

Crews are demolishing the old trash rack, installing pilings for a new wall, and pouring new concrete footings. 

The Rest of This Week

Crews will be performing the work described below. Work will occur during daytime hours between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the following locations: 

  • Demolish old concrete foundations

  • Begin construction of the new “soldier pile” wall

Week of August 2

Crews will be performing the work described below. Work will occur during daytime hours between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the following locations: 

  • Continue construction of the new wall

  • Begin excavation for new concrete bases and footings

Week of August 9

Crews will be performing the work described below. Work will occur during daytime hours between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the following locations: 

  • Continue construction of the new wall

  • Continue excavation for new concrete bases and footings

  • Begin construction of new concrete pedestals and bases

What to Expect During Construction

We want you to be safe around the work site. Please keep children, pets, bikes, cars, and trucks away from the tools, machines, supplies, and construction workers. A city inspector will be on-site during work hours and may be able to assist you with construction concerns. Inspectors typically wear a hard hat and safety vest with “City of Portland” on the back. 

Noise, Vibration, and Dust: Construction creates noise, vibration and dust and disrupts normal neighborhood activity. 

Traffic Delays: The work will slow down traffic in your neighborhood. Please read the traffic signs and follow directions from the workers with flags. 

Access to Your Home or Business: You will be able to go to your home or business, but you may not be able to park as close as you would like. We will try to make sure driveways and parking lot entrances stay open. 

Parking Restrictions: We want you to be safe, so you may not be able to park your car next to work spaces, equipment, or materials. If crews are working directly in front of your home or a business, you may need to park in another place. 

Equipment Storage: Sometimes we will leave tools, machines, and supplies on your street overnight. Please stay away from them. 

Maintained Service: You can still use sewer, water, and other services while we work on your street. 

Work Hours: Work hours are 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. Sometimes we work on Saturdays from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

Schedule Changes and Inactivity: Our work schedules can change for many reasons like weather, traffic, and problems with equipment. 

We Want to Hear from You

We would like to hear from you about special events, school activities, and community services in your neighborhood you think may be impacted by this project. Also, we want to know if you have any concerns related to business operations, disability or mobility issues, medical or business deliveries, and proposed night work. Your input will help us minimize the impact to your neighborhood during construction. 

Call 503-823-2827, or email Aaron.Abrams@portlandoregon.gov.

Projects Nearby

NW Thurman Sewer Reconstruction Project

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