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SW Washington Street: Park Ave to 10th Sewer Project

Sewer and Stormwater
Environmental Services will repair public sewer service laterals in SW Washington Street between SW Park Avenue and SW 10th Avenue in downtown Portland. The repairs will help prevent sewage backups into buildings and streets.
Two sewer service lateral repairs remain in the project.
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Project Area

The public sewer mainline repaired is in the north side of SW Washington Street between SW Park Avenue and SW 10th Avenue. The two remaining sewer service lateral repairs are connected to this mainline pipe. 

What’s Happening Now

In April, crews completed the first of two sewer lateral repairs remaining in the project. 

Engineers will continue their investigations to determine the necessary repairs and construction methods for the second lateral. That repair will be scheduled at a future date.

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 503-823-5315, stating that SW Washington: Park to 10th is your area of concern. Outreach staff will return your call by the next business day.
  • Nighttime Noise Complaint: Call 503-823-1338, stating that SW Washington: Park to 10th is your project of concern. The noise hotline is monitored by site inspectors.
  • Sewer Emergency: 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.

Construction Methods

Cured-in-Place Pipe Lining (CIPP)

Environmental Services plans to use this trenchless construction method. The pipe lining process does not involve digging in the street. It involves inserting a flexible liner inside the old pipe, inflating the liner, and exposing it to heat or ultraviolet light to dry and harden the liner inside the pipe.

You may smell an odor like plastic or glue during CIPP that will dissipate quickly once the process is complete. The odor is from chemicals in the liner resin. The amounts detected by an independent industrial hygienist are below health risk levels.

To keep the resin odors from entering your home or business through your private sewer, fill any floor drains and infrequently used sinks with a small amount of water. This water will collect in the bend in the drain and block odors from the sewer.

What to Expect

You can expect the following activities and impacts during construction:

  • The City intends to use the Cured-in-Place-Pipe Lining (CIPP) method to repair the laterals.  
  • Temporary lane closures will be necessary in the west lane of SW 10th Avenue and in the north lane of SW Washington Street.
  • SW Park Avenue will be closed to traffic between SW Washington Street and SW Harvey Milk Street during equipment setup between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.
  • Pedestrian detours will be in place at some crosswalks.
  • The short-term parking spaces currently designated for customer pickups from downtown retailers will remain in place, if possible, through construction.
  • Vactor trucks will be in the area during the pipe lining process to operate vacuum pumps necessary to clean the pipes and to maintain sewer service during the lining process. Vactor trucks generate noise and may be in place for several hours at a time.

To avoid circling around construction to find parking, please use SmartPark garages. The nearest SmartPark garages are illustrated on the project map.

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.

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 lateral sewer connections.

The remaining work is the repair of two additional sewer service lateral connections. 

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.

Environmental Services has since learned of another lateral that needs to be repaired. Therefore, engineers are gathering information to understand the situation at both sewer lateral locations and determine next steps.

We appreciate the public's continued patience and cooperation.

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