The existing pipes were built between 1867 and 1927. They are showing signs of cracks, breaks, holes, offset connections, and root and grease obstructions. Timely repairs now will make them last another 65 years, increase their resiliency to earthquake damage, and provide safe and reliable sewer service to downtown Portland.
The project boundary is SW Main, SW Salmon, and SW Taylor streets between SW Naito Parkway and SW 13th Avenue.
General Schedule and Work Hours
Construction began in January 2022 and will take a year and a half to complete. Work at each location will be done in phases, with periods of inactivity between each phase. Work at each location is expected to take between one and three weeks.
The City’s Noise Office granted Environmental Services a noise variance to allow a combination of daytime and nighttime work hours:
- Daytime work will occur between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturdays as needed. Hours may vary to limit traffic impacts.
- Nighttime work will occur between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturdays as needed. Hours may vary to limit traffic impacts and noise.
The noisier work to dig small trenches and access pits will be done during the day. CIPP lining will be done at night when levels of sewage and stormwater flows in the pipes are lower and less likely to negatively impact the lining.
What's Happening Now
Public sewer repairs continue throughout the project area. All work is weather-dependent, and the schedule below is subject to change.
Rose Festival Moratorium
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) does not allow work requiring the closing of streets, sidewalks, or parking lane portions of the public right of way on some streets during Rose Festival activities, which this year are June 1 through June 13. These restrictions support Portland’s businesses by reducing traffic congestion, providing parking access and assuring a welcoming environment for patrons who are participating in event activities. For more information and a map of detailed locations, visit the City of Portland webpage.
June 1 through June 13
Construction work on this project will not take place during the Rose Festival Moratorium.
Week of June 12
Sewer construction will occur during nighttime hours between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. at the following locations:
- SW 11th Avenue south of SW Main Street: Pipe bursting. Traffic will be routed to one lane with parking taken on the west side of SW 11th Avenue.
- SW Salmon Street between SW Park Ave East and SW 10th Avenue: Preparation for pipe lining. Traffic will be routed to one lane with parking impacts on SW Salmon Street.
With extreme heat in the weather forecast, crews may adjust schedules to protect workers from the dangers of heat stress. When working in extreme weather environments, all City workers, contractors, and subcontractors must follow Oregon’s OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) mandates and Environmental Services’ Heat Illness Safety and Health Plan. You may see crews taking more frequent water and rest breaks, stopping work at noon, and taking other protective measures during extreme heat.
The City’s contractor will use several construction methods to repair or replace public sewer pipes. Most of the methods will be trenchless, although some of those methods will require digging access pits to install pipes. Trenchless methods avoid having to dig deep and long trenches in downtown streets to replace whole pipes.
Construction methods will include the following:
- Cured-in-Place-Pipe Lining (CIPP) to install liners that seal cracks, help prevent root intrusion, and restore the pipes to near-new condition. With the methods the contractor is using for this project, no CIPP odor is anticipated.
- Pipe Bursting and Pipe Reaming to replace and upsize public sewer pipes in SW Main Street and in SW 11th Avenue.
- Microtunneling to upsize and replace public sewer pipes in SW Main Street at two intersections where several other underground public utilities are in close proximity to the public sewer.
- Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) to construct sewer extensions and service laterals.
- Open Trench Excavation to dig small trenches to replace short sections of broken pipe before repairing the entire mainline sewer pipe, and to construct sewer service laterals and access pits.
- Vactor Excavation to install sewer cleanouts so that crews can access sewer connections to downtown buildings and maintain sewer service during repairs.
- Grouting to inject grout into the soil surrounding a leaky sewer pipe and prevent water from getting into the pipe.
Sewer Service Laterals
A sewer service lateral is a pipe that provides a public sewer connection for a house, business, or undeveloped property. It runs from the mainline public sewer in the street to the curb and connects to the property’s private sewer line or is capped at the property line for future use, e.g., future development or resolution of a nonconforming sewer connection.
A sewer service lateral may be replaced using either the Open Trench Excavation method or a trenchless method such as Cured-in-Place-Pipe Lining or Pipe Bursting.
The City of Portland is responsible for maintaining the public portion of the lateral sewer pipe from the mainline public sewer to the curb. The private property owner is responsible for maintaining the private lateral sewer pipe from the curb to the house or building.
A sewer cleanout is a capped opening above the sewer service lateral that connects a building to the mainline public sewer. It enables crews to access and repair that connection. Cleanouts will be used to maintain sewer service during the pipe lining process, and to provide access for future maintenance.
Cleanouts are typically installed near the curb but may also be placed in the sidewalk or near the building. Sewer cleanout installation requires digging a hole where the cleanout will be located. This construction creates noise, vibration, and dust.
What to Expect During Construction
You can expect the following activities and impacts during construction:
- Work hours will be a combination of daytime (7 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and nighttime (6 p.m. to 7 a.m.) hours as needed to construct sewer repairs as quickly as possible with as little disruption as possible.
- Crews will set up safe work zones to protect crews and the public from the hazards associated with construction.
- Construction will temporarily restrict some travel lanes and sidewalk crossings in work zones, remove on-street parking, and create traffic delays.
- Local access will be available for all buildings and parking garages. Please obey all traffic control signs and follow the directions of flaggers.
- Security patrol will be on-site for overnight work and some daytime work to help keep crews, pedestrians, and equipment safe in locations with heavy pedestrian traffic.
- With the methods the contractor is using for this project, no CIPP lining odor is anticipated.
- The City's contractors take care to keep noise, dust, vibration, odor, traffic delays, and other potential construction nuisances to a minimum.
- Construction in downtown Portland requires coordination with multiple partners.
Before repairs begin at each location, crews will be onsite to locate utilities, inspect and clean pipes, set up traffic controls and tree protections, stage equipment and materials, and set up sewer bypass systems to ensure uninterrupted sewer service. These Pre-Construction Activities will occur over time, not all at once:
- Site visits and evaluation
- Utility locates
- Soil sampling and geotechnical investigations
- Pipe cleaning and inspection
- Pre-existing conditions photos
- Tree trimming and protection
- Erosion control
- Equipment and material setup
- Traffic control setup and on-street parking removal
- Public information distribution
The city's contractor will work with the Portland Bureau of Transportation on street use permits and traffic control plans necessary to complete the public sewer repairs as quickly as possible. You can expect some on-street parking removal, traffic delays in and around the work zones, restricted or closed travel lanes, and restricted pedestrian crossings. Sidewalks will remain open. Local access will be provided to parking garages and businesses.
To avoid circling around construction to find parking, please use SmartPark garages.
Site Visits and Building Investigations
Environmental Services and its contractors may need to enter buildings in the project area to gather information that will help them design and construct necessary sewer repairs. They may need access for any or all of the following activities:
- Locate, inspect, and evaluate sewer and stormwater pipes and connections, sewer service laterals, cleanouts, sump pumps, and other private plumbing facilities.
- Determine basement and sub-basement layouts, utility vault locations and elevators, parking garage layouts, and other private property features.
- Survey existing sewers on private properties.
- Identify and mark utilities in areas surrounding the sewer.
- Collect and analyze soil and water samples.
Environmental Services and its contractors will coordinate with building managers and property owners to schedule site visits, arrange access, and conduct investigations as needed.
When high temperatures, extreme heat, near freezing temperatures, or extreme cold are in the weather forecast, crews may adjust schedules to protect workers from the dangers of heat stress and cold stress. When working in extreme weather environments, all City workers, contractors, and subcontractors must follow Oregon’s OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) mandates and Environmental Services’ Heat Illness Safety and Health Plan and its Cold Stress Safety and Health Plan. You may see crews taking more frequent water and rest breaks, stopping work at noon, and taking other protective measures during extreme weather.
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:
- Project Webpage: Visit this project webpage for details and weekly updates.
- Email Updates: To receive email or text message updates for this project, we encourage you to sign up now. Updates provided through our free GovDelivery subscription service 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.
- Questions: Call the message line at 503-823-5315, stating that SW Main-Taylor is your project of concern. Outreach staff will return your call by the next business day.
- Nighttime Construction Noise Complaint: Call the noise hotline at 503-823-1338, stating that SW Main-Taylor is your area of concern. The noise hotline is monitored by site inspectors.
- Sewer Emergency: In the event of a sewer backup or basement flooding, call the City Maintenance hotline immediately at 503-823-1700. It is staffed all hours and all days, 24/7.
- Other Downtown Sewer Projects: For a list and maps of other downtown sewer projects, visit the program webpage.
Environmental Services designed the SW Main-Taylor Sewer Repair Project to accomplish the following sewer improvements:
- Repair 10,765 feet, or two miles, of aging public sewer pipes in SW Main, SW Salmon, and SW Taylor streets between SW Naito Parkway and SW 13th Avenue.
- Upsize or relocate 1,000 feet of sewer pipes in SW Main Street to accommodate increased sewage and stormwater flows.
- Clear roots and flush debris from approximately 11,000 feet of public sewer pipes.
- Repair, replace, or add maintenance access holes and storm drain inlets as needed.
- Install cleanouts on sewer service laterals to high-rise buildings to enable future sewer maintenance access.
- Repair or replace active sewer service laterals for individual property connections.
- Assist and support customers with nonconforming sewer connections to achieve the recommended sewer connection for their property.
- Collaborate with the Portland Water Bureau to replace water lines with earthquake resistant pipe.
Sign Up for Updates
Sign up for periodic email or text message updates for the SW Main-Taylor Sewer Project 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 Willamette River Watershed.