Traffic Advisory: Safety improvements at intersection of Highway 30, NW Vaughn Street and NW 23rd Avenue begin today

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The current intersection at NW 23rd Avenue and Vaughn Street looking east. Courtesy of Google Streetview

(July 12, 2019) – Construction begins today at the intersection of NW 23rd Avenue and Vaughn Street and U.S. Highway 30 as part of the NW 20th Avenue Local Improvement District which will reconnect the Slabtown neighborhood and Northwest Portland by extending NW 20th Avenue and NW Thurman Street.  

This project will adjust the location of the pedestrian refuge island on the north side of the intersection and will create a new pedestrian refuge island at the south side. In addition, the new design opens the eastern crosswalk to pedestrians and adds a pedestrian signal to the crosswalk between the NE corner and the pedestrian island on that corner. All corners and curb ramps will be upgraded to current ADA accessibility standards.

The new intersection geometry is designed to accommodate a WB-67 design vehicle (a 53’ semi truck and trailer). The existing design does not fully accommodate those large vehicles. Other intersection changes include creating a turn lane for northbound traffic from NW 23rd Avenue heading onto the U.S. 30 ramp toward I-405 and reconfiguring the two eastbound travel lanes on NW Vaughn St to one thru lane and one right turn only lane. All of these changes will improve safety as well as help traffic flow much better through the intersection and improve transit operations for TriMet buses - frequent service line 15 as well as lines 24 and 77 travel through this intersection.

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Construction starts today, Friday, July 12, and will be completed by August 13. During construction, at least one thru lane in each direction will be kept open for use. During morning and evening rush hour, before 9:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m., all lanes at the intersection will be open.  

The traveling public is advised to expect delays while repairs are being made. We ask the public to travel cautiously, observe all lane closures and directions by reader boards and flaggers, and use alternate routes if possible. Learn what you can expect in our work zones and how you can help everyone stay safe by watching this video:

The project paves the way for build out of the Con-way Master Plan, unlocking more than $500 million in mixed-use housing development for an area comprised mostly of surface parking lots adjacent to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, the oldest Catholic Church in the Portland area.

Property owners XPO, Esco and Cairn Pacific own a half-dozen city blocks surrounding NW Thurman and 19th Avenue. They are paying a combined $7.6 million for the street improvements, which give the properties more development potential. They worked with PBOT to form a Local Improvement District to organize the funding needed for the improvements.

PBOT is contributing $1 million in system development charges, which are fees paid by developers to help offset the impact of population growth on the transportation system. The Bureau of Environmental Services is investing about $1 million for sewer construction, which will be coordinated with road construction so the roads don't have to be torn up twice.

Corpac Construction won the contract to build the road improvements. The project has 82 percent participation of MWESB contracting, more than double the city's goal for contracting with minority-owned, women-owned and emerging small businesses.

PBOT's Local Improvement District program works with property owners of all sizes, all across Portland, to build new roads, streetcar lines, drainage improvements and other transportation infrastructure that improve quality of life, the economy and transportation access.

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Questions? Please contact the Local Improvement District Administrator and Project Manager, Andrew Aebi, at 503.823.5648 or