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Long-awaited SW Capitol Highway project breaks ground on Monday, June 14

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The 18-month-long construction will transform SW Capitol Highway between Garden Home and Taylors Ferry roads into a safer and more resilient roadway.
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Fixing Our Streets: Your Dime At Work logo featuring wrenches and roses on a pink background

(June 10, 2021) After over 30 years of visioning, planning, and community advocacy and five years of engineering, Portland’s Transportation, Environmental Services, and Water bureaus are set to begin work on the SW Capitol Highway: Multnomah Village to West Portland project on Monday, June 14. 

The 18-month-long construction will transform SW Capitol Highway between Garden Home and Taylors Ferry roads into a safer and more resilient roadway. Work will also take place on some adjacent streets as the project builds new sidewalks and protected bike lanes, improves stormwater management, and upgrades the neighborhood water system.

Looking north on SW Capitol Highway at SW Brugger Street. Rendering by PBOT.
Looking north on SW Capitol Highway at SW Brugger Street. Rendering by PBOT.

Specifically, the project will add a continuous sidewalk and protected bike lane on the east side of SW Capitol Highway, and a multiuse path on the west side of the street, from SW Taylors Ferry Road to Garden Home Road. Additionally, the project will collect and convey stormwater runoff through inlets and pipes to four new large rain gardens that treat stormwater located nearby. The project also will upgrade the SW Capitol Highway water main to a larger, more seismically resilient pipe between SW Marigold Street and Garden Home Road, with an additional water main replacement on SW Carson Street.

These much-needed improvements will help reduce flooding and erosion issues, provide more resilient water mains, and enhance safety for pedestrians and people biking, riding transit, and driving cars.

“After decades of community advocacy, I am thrilled that these vital safety improvements are coming to this High Crash Corridor,” said Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. “I look forward to seeing additional investments like these across the city as we work to address our urgent traffic safety needs.”

“This comprehensive project would not be possible without the partnership of our other public works bureaus – Environmental Services and Water,” said Transportation Director Chris Warner. “I’m thankful to the staff and leadership of these agencies, as well as our PBOT team, for their hard work planning, designing, and engineering this complex and important project for the residents of Southwest Portland.”

“This project is good governance in action. We are serving our community better by strengthening partnerships with our utility bureaus to save Portlanders money and reduce disruption to neighborhoods,” said Portland Water Bureau Director Gabriel Solmer.

“I want to thank the neighbors, as well as our city partners for collaborating on a project that will deliver much needed benefits to Southwest Portland including nature-based solutions to the area’s stormwater challenges,” said Environmental Services Director Mike Jordan. “We are eager to start reducing flooding and restoring stream habitat by adding rain gardens, trees and vegetation that will soak up stormwater.”

“We are delighted that the livability and safety of our neighborhood will be greatly enhanced by this transformational Southwest project, which reflects the core values of Multnomah residents and is the culmination of more than 30 years of community activism,” said Chris Lyons, Chair of the Capitol Highway Subcommittee.

A map of the SW Capitol Highway: Multnomah Village to West Portland project area, with marked detour routes.
A map of the SW Capitol Highway: Multnomah Village to West Portland project area, with marked detour routes.

Construction will occur Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., with some Saturdays. Due to the narrow roadway and topography of the project area, detours will be necessary during construction. Beginning on June 21, a series of closures of SW Garden Home Road and SW 40th Avenue between 45th Avenue and Capitol Highway will be necessary to install and bury stormwater pipes under the roadway. In late July there will be six nights of night work at SW Multnomah Boulevard and SW 40th Avenue, for pipe installation.

Starting in August, after the stormwater pipe installation on SW Garden Home Road is complete, all southbound traffic on SW Capitol Highway will be detoured westward on SW Garden Home Road, southward on SW 45th/48th Avenues, and eastward on SW Taylors Ferry Road to return to SW Capitol Highway. This detour will remain in place for the remainder of the 18-month project. The detour helps the contractor complete the project more safely and efficiently. PBOT is installing mitigation measures on SW 45th and 48th Avenues including new marked crosswalks.

Northbound traffic and TriMet buses will remain on SW Capitol Highway throughout the project. The public will be given advance notice ahead of any major traffic changes. Sign up for project updates at: portland.gov/transportation/capitolhwy

During construction, crews will ensure that mail, garbage, and delivery vehicles will still have access and that residents receive several days of advance notice for driveway reconstruction and temporary utility shut offs.

Please join us for a live virtual open house tonight, Thursday, June 10 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to learn more about the project, ask questions, and celebrate this huge undertaking to improve a key route in southwest Portland. A self-guided online open house is also available.

The total project budget is $27.5 million. Funding is provided by Fixing Our Streets, Transportation System Development Charges, the Bureau of Environmental Services, Oregon Lottery funds, and the Portland Water Bureau.

Visit portland.gov/transportation/capitolhwy for additional project information.

Special note regarding COVID-19 and construction work

PBOT has been in modified operations since March 17, 2020 and has implemented specific measures to ensure the safety of our crews and contractors. This includes modifications based on current guidelines from local, state, and federal health officials. Thank you for giving our crews the space and time they need to keep our city moving.