Most City offices closed Wednesday, June 19, to observe Juneteenth

The City of Portland recognizes Juneteenth as a formal day of remembrance to honor Black American history and the end of slavery in the United States. Learn about Juneteenth.

SW Washington Street: Park Ave to 10th Sewer Project

Sewer and Stormwater
Environmental Services will construct a sewer service lateral repair in SW Washington Street. The repair, now planned for the spring of 2024, will help prevent backups into buildings and streets.
Construction is anticipated to occur in the spring of 2024, perhaps in May..
On this Page

Project Area

The lateral sewer service pipe repair is located in SW Washington Street between SW Park Avenue and SW 10th Avenue.

SW Washington Street between SW Park and SW 9th avenues

What’s Happening Now

Based on new data obtained from field investigations, Environmental Services and its contractors postponed construction of the sewer service lateral repair to complete the following design changes and pre-construction activities:

  • Modify the existing design to provide an improved gravity service for the flow of combined sewage and stormwater through the lateral pipe and maintenance access hole channels that connect it to the mainline public sewer. 
  • Modify the existing design to include the replacement of two maintenance access holes. 
  • Modify the existing design to provide better access for maintenance crews in the future to clean and repair the public section of the lateral pipe as needed. 
  • Revise the sewer bypass plan necessary to provide uninterrupted sewer service to adjacent buildings during construction. 
  • Order and receive additional materials necessary to complete the lateral pipe repair. 
  • Complete the lateral pipe repair and the replacement of maintenance access holes during drier weather to provide adequate sewer bypass and reduce the risk of sewer backups. 

In addition, the remaining lateral repair schedule is dependent upon the demolition of O'Bryant Square, which has experienced delays. Environmental Services will provide a tentative construction schedule when one is available. 

What to Expect

You can expect the following activities and impacts during additional field investigations that may be necessary before construction:

  • Work hours will be during the day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday if necessary.
  • Temporary lane closures may be necessary in SW Washington Street. 
  • Temporary sidewalk and crosswalk closures, with pedestrian detours, may be necessary in SW Washington Street between SW Park Avenue and SW 10th Avenue. 
  • Temporary on-street parking removal may be necessary in the work zone.
  • Local access will be provided to parking garages and businesses. 

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

The sewer service lateral 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.

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. 
  • 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

In 2019–2021, crews 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 included 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 designed in 2022–2023 and to be constructed in 2024

  • Engineers gathered information to understand the situation at the remaining lateral location and determined next steps.
  • The remaining lateral repair schedule is dependent upon the demolition of O'Bryant Square, which has experienced delays.
  • The remaining lateral repair is anticipated to be constructed in the spring of 2024. 

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.