NE 33rd Avenue and NE Knott Street Emergency Sewer Project

Sewer and Stormwater
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Environmental Services is conducting emergency repairs on a 110-year-old sewer pipe located underneath the intersection of NE 33rd Avenue and NE Knott Street. This pipe has failed and caused several sinkholes to open under the roadway. Immediate repairs are needed to protect the public from danger.
Construction began on August 4, 2022. Work is expected to continue to the end of October.
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Environmental Services maintenance crews discovered a failed pipe under the intersection of NE 33rd Avenue and NE Knott Street. The pipe failure has caused large sinkholes to open underneath the roadway. This presents a significant danger to the public and needs to be immediately repaired.   

The project will install a new sewer line, a new maintenance hole, and repair sinkholes that have developed under the roadway. These repairs are necessary to protect public health and the environment by preventing sewer overflows to homes, businesses, and streets. 

The traveling public is advised to expect extended travel delays, street closures, and to follow all traffic control signage. Sidewalks will remain open for pedestrian, wheelchair, and bicycle use. Local access will be allowed on NE 33rd Avenue and NE Knott Street during construction.  

To further ensure the safety of residents and crews, the traveling public is asked to follow these important safety tips: 

  • Please slow down and use caution around work crews and work sites.  Obey all flaggers, follow construction zone speed limits, and maintain safe distance while crew complete work. 

  • Obey all traffic control signage. Altering or moving approved traffic control signage creates hazards and safety issues. These actions are unlawful and could possibly result in fines. All unapproved signage will be removed from the area. 

  • Work site and detour signage applies to everyone. Obey all speed and warning signs when traveling near the work site and detour routes. Signs are there for everyone’s safety and to prevent walking, biking, rolling, or fatal driving collisions.  

  • Be alert and look out for all road users. Pay attention to all road and crosswalk conditions. Slow down, always watch for all pedestrians, and be aware of oncoming traffic. Work site activity may often lead to traffic congestion and extended delays, which can contribute to driver frustration. Please do not tailgate and remember that driving while distracted could lead to serious injuries and damage. 

Project Area

The emergency sewer project will take place at the intersection of NE 33rd Avenue and NE Knott Street.

NE 33rd Ave and NE Knott Emergency Sewer Project Area

NE 33rd Avenue and NE Knott Street Emergency Sewer Project Work Zone and Traffic Advisory Map.

What’s Happening Now

Before restoring the area and reopening the intersection, the underground condition near the sewer pipe needs to be stabilized and made safe before the repairs can take place.   

*In the Coming Weeks*

The following work is expected to occur weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays as needed:   

  • Crews are expected to begin shoring to protect workers before beginning main sewer pipe repair. The shoring technique provides a temporary structure for crew to prevent the collapse of unsafe systems and walls at the work site. Noise, heavy vibration, and dust to be expected during this construction process.

  • Installation of the new 144’ maintenance hole structure near completion and structure to be backfilled to secure concrete base. 

  • Initiate video inspection of main sewer line pipe to further determine localized trench rehabilitation of newly discovered sinkhole along NE 33rd Avenue.

Road Closures and Detours

It is anticipated the emergency sewer project will impact travel due to the closure at NE 33rd Avenue and NE Knott Street. The following travel areas will be impacted:  

  • NE Knott Street at NE 15th Avenue will be closed to through traffic. 

  • The recommended detour route is NE Broadway/Weidler in the south, NE 15th to the west, NE 42nd to the east, and NE Fremont to the north. 

  • The eastbound lane of NE Knott Street will be closed between NE 32nd Place and NE 33rd Avenue. 

  • Close northbound NE 33rd Avenue at US Grant Place to motor vehicles. 

Environmental Services staff and contractors are working extensively with our partners at the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to put in place traffic safety measures that will prevent vehicles from cutting through nearby residential streets. Please do move or alter any traffic control signage.  

Traffic will be detoured to NE 15th Avenue and NE 42nd Avenue. NE 33rd Avenue at NE Knott Street will be closed for the duration of the project schedule. In addition, the eastbound lane of NE Knott Street will be closed between NE 32nd Place and NE 33rd Avenue. 

Improving Traffic Safety: What We've Heard From You

Since the project began, Environmental Services and PBOT staff have heard from neighbors about safety concerns with cut through traffic and speeding. Working with our PBOT partners, we have added significant additional traffic safety features to stop cut through traffic and slow down drivers, including:  

  • Temporary installation of temporary speed bumps at the following streets:

    • NE 31st Avenue, NE 32nd Avenue, NE 32nd Place, NE 34th Avenue, NE 35th Avenue, and NE 35th Place between NE Knott and NE Stanton Streets. 

    • NE 32nd Avenue, NE 32nd Court, and NE 32nd Place between NE Knott and NE Brazee Streets. 

  • Large “ROAD CLOSED TO THROUGH TRAFFIC” barricades have been added at NE 21st, NE 24th, NE 27th, and NE 32nd Avenues. 

  • NE Knott at NE 15th is closed to through traffic and signage has been added to direct drivers to the detour route on NE Fremont. 

  • Northbound NE 33rd Avenue at US Grant Place is closed to motor vehicles. "Road Closed to Through Traffic: please use designated detour routes" signage has been added at NE 33rd and NE Fremont. 

The traveling public is advised to expect travel delays, street closures, and to follow all traffic control signage. Sidewalks will remain open for pedestrian, wheelchair, and bicycle use. Local access will be allowed on NE 33rd Avenue and NE Knott Street during construction.  

For information on tips for how to keep yourself and city workers safe when traveling through work zones, please watch  National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week - YouTube.   

TriMet Bus Service Alerts

  • The 70-bus route has been detoured around the project area.  Some stop locations have changed. To learn more and to receive updates regarding bus routes on NE 33rd Avenue, please visit theTriMet Services Alerts webpage. 

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, but this may not always be possible. 

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

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:  

  • Questions: Call K. Bullock Clayton, at 503-823-5759 or email k.bullockclayton@portlandoregon.gov, stating that NE 33rd Avenue and NE Knott Street is your area of concern. 

  • 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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