SW Washington Street: Park Ave to 10th Sewer Project

Sewer and Stormwater
Active
Environmental Services is designing a sewer service lateral repair in SW Washington Street between SW Park Avenue and SW 10th Avenue in downtown Portland. The repair will help prevent backups into buildings and streets during periods of heavy flows of combined sewage and stormwater.
Design continues for one remaining sewer service lateral repair. Construction will occur sometime this year.
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The lateral sewer pipe connects a private property to the mainline public sewer pipe in the street. The lateral has several bellies in the line, or sags, that can interfere with the normal gravity flow of sewage and stormwater through the pipe. Sediments have settled at the bottom of the pipe, creating blockages that can cause sewage and stormwater to flow backwards. 

Project Area

The mainline public sewer pipe already repaired with this project is in the north side of SW Washington Street between SW Park Avenue and SW 10th Avenue. The one remaining sewer service lateral repair is connected to this mainline pipe. 

SW Washington Street Sewer Repair Potholing Locations

What’s Happening Now

The contractor continues to conduct field investigations and explore engineering solutions to repair the sewer pipes.

Activities include public sewer pipe and maintenance hole inspections, private property plumbing investigations, soil and pavement sampling, utility locates, and traffic control evaluations. These pre-construction activities typically occur over time rather than all at once. 

What to Expect

You can expect the following activities and impacts during utility locates and potholing: 

  • Temporary lane closures may be necessary in each lane of SW Washington Street. 
  • Temporary sidewalk and crosswalk closures may be necessary, with pedestrian detours in place during work hours.  
  • Temporary on-street parking removal may be necessary in the work zone. 
  • Vactor trucks may be parked in the area during excavation activities. Vactor trucks generate noise and may be in place for several hours at a time. 
  • When excavation is complete, crews will fill the holes and apply an asphalt patch. 

Extreme Weather

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.

Construction Methods

Crews are considering the use of Open Trench Excavation or Horizontal Directional Drilling to repair the lateral pipe. These methods involve digging either trenches or pits in the street. Crews will need to determine the precise locations of other underground utilities before any digging can occur. Learn more about utility locates and what to expect during construction.

We Want to Hear From You

Environmental Services is working directly with adjacent properties affected by the lateral repair. We encourage you to: 

  • Visit this project webpage regularly for more details about the project and what to expect. Use the shortcut "portland.gov/bes/swwashington". 
  • With questions or comments, call the message line at 503-823-5315, stating that  SW Washington Street is your area of concern. Your call will be returned by the next business day.
  • To report nighttime construction noise complaints, call the noise hotline at 503-823-1338, stating that SW Washington Street is your area of concern. The noise hotline is monitored by site inspectors.  
  • Learn about other downtown sewer repair projects
  • Contact city outreach staff
  • In the event of a sewer backup or basement flooding, call the City’s Maintenance line immediately at 503-823-1700. The line is staffed all hours and all days (24/7). 

Project Background

Crews have successfully completed the following improvements for this project:

  • Removed roots in the existing mainline public sewer pipe.
  • Installed 435 feet of pipe lining to repair the public sewer pipe.
  • Installed liners to repair three sewer service lateral connections.
  • Repaired maintenance access holes to provide access to sewer service lateral pipes. 

The remaining work for 2021–2022 was the repair of two additional sewer service lateral connections.

Lateral #1: Repair completed 2021

  • In the summer of 2020, crews attempted to repair one public sewer service lateral in SW Washington Street between SW Park Avenue and SW 10th Avenue. Unfortunately, they could not complete the repair. The geometry of the existing lateral was not conducive to standard repair methods. Engineers studied the problem to determine a new construction method. 
  • Another attempt to repair the lateral was also unsuccessful. Flows in the pipe were too high from recent rainfall and other sources that it was not possible to install the liner where the lateral connects to the mainline public sewer pipe. 
  • As a result, the city's contractor re-engineered the sewer bypass plan and rescheduled the repair. It, too, was unsuccessful. Something new in a private development storm system prevented crews from being able to install the lateral liner. 
  • In April of 2021, crews were successful in repairing this lateral pipe. 

Lateral #2: Repair being designed 2022

  • Engineers are gathering information to understand the situation at the remaining lateral location and determine next steps.
  • The remaining lateral repair will be scheduled sometime this year (2022). 

Environmental Services appreciates the public's continued patience and cooperation.

Sign Up for Updates

Sign up for periodic email or text message updates for the SW Washington Street: Park Ave to 10th Sewer Repair 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.