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NE MLK and Russell Sewer Project

Sewer and Stormwater
Environmental Services is designing a project to upsize 583 feet of sewer pipe, replace 20 public sewer connections to private property, and add three new maintenance holes in the Eliot neighborhood. These improvements will reduce the possibility of sewage releases to buildings and streets.
Construction is expected to start in June 2024 and take about four months to complete.

On this Page

Project Area

This project will take place on NE Russell Street between NE Martin Luther King Blvd and NE 7th Avenue. 

Showing pipe work to be done on NE Russell St between Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and NE 7th Ave


Project design is nearing completion. Construction is expected to begin in June 2024 and take up to five months to complete. The city’s contractor will give notice to adjacent properties once the exact date is known. Work hours will be 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and Saturdays if needed.

What's Happening Now

Over the next few months, crew will be in the project area conducting various investigations to collect information that will help determine what pipes need to be repaired and what construction methods should be used. Activities may include cleaning and inspecting sewer pipes and maintenance access holes, locating underground utilities and marking them with paint or small flags, surveying the land and taking various measurements, and drilling holes in the street to collect soil and pavement samples. See Pre-Construction Activities to learn more.  

Some investigative activities will require restricting parking and closing travel lanes. Information gathered will help determine the repair locations, construction methods, and how to minimize construction impacts on residents and businesses.  

What to Expect During Construction

You can expect the following activities and impacts during construction:  

  • Noise, Vibration, and Dust: Construction creates noise, vibration, and dust, and disrupts normal neighborhood activity.  
  • Equipment Storage: Equipment and materials may be stored on streets overnight.  
  • No Parking: Little or no on‐street parking will be allowed in and near work zones, especially during work hours. On days when crews will be working in front of your house or nearby, please plan ahead. If you park your vehicle on the street, plan to move it off the street by 7 a.m. and return it at 6 p.m.  
  • Traffic Delays: Expect traffic delays in and near the work area. The contractor will develop detailed traffic control plans for each location. Please obey all traffic control signs and follow the directions of flaggers if present.
  • Pedestrian Access: If temporary crosswalk and sidewalk closures are necessary, signage will indicate the alternate way for pedestrians to proceed.  
  • Services Maintained: Sewer, water, and other utilities are expected to remain in service during construction.  
  • Garbage Pickup: Access to garbage and recycling bins for haulers will always be maintained.  
  • Schedule Changes and Inactivity: Construction schedules can change due to a variety of factors, including conditions underground, weather, traffic impacts, subcontractor schedules, and availability of materials. These same variables may cause periods of inactivity during construction phases.  

Construction Methods

The City’s contractor is using open trench excavation. Open trench excavation consists of digging down to and exposing the existing pipe, removing the existing pipe or repair a section of it, installing a new pipe or a section of new pipe, backfilling the trench, and apply a temporary asphalt patch.  Permanant trench paving will occur after construction is complete. 

Pavement Restoration

In sewer and stormwater construction projects where crews dig into city streets, Environmental Services is required to follow specifications set by the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), who owns the streets and manages the public rights-of-way. PBOT determines what pavement restoration a project must do and provides direction that meets the intent of the City’s Pavement Restoration Standard Drawings for Local Streets or Busy Streets.

We Want to Hear from You

Environmental Services would like to hear from you about special events, school activities, and community services in your neighborhood you think might be affected by this project. Also, we want to know if you have any concerns related to business operations, disability or mobility issues, or medical or business deliveries. Your input will help us design a successful project that minimizes the impact to your neighborhood during construction.

Business Impact Survey

If you have a business within the project area, please complete this Business Survey so we can learn more about your business and what needs you may have during construction.

For More Information

We will inform residents and businesses about project activities and respond to questions and concerns in a timely manner. We encourage you to:

  • Visit the project webpage at  
  • Sign up to receive email or text message updates You can also sign up to receive information on other projects and topics. 
  • Contact Emily Volpert with questions or comments by phone at 503-823-6006 or email Please be sure to include your name, property address, and project name (MLK and Russell) in your voicemail and email so we can provide you more details about what to expect in front of your property.
  • In the event of a sewer backup or basement flooding, call the Maintenance hotline immediately at 503-823-1700. It is staffed all hours and all days, 24/7 

Sign Up for Updates

Sign up for periodic email or text message updates through our free GovDelivery subscription service. These updates are the best way to stay informed about what’s happening and what to expect. You can also sign up for bulletins on other projects and topics.


This project will help protect the health of the Williamette River Watershed.