Traffic Advisory: Smoother ride, safer crossings coming to St. Johns' business district 

Traffic Advisory
PBOT crews work to remove century-old trolley tracks and repave Lombard
110+ year old trolley tracks being dug out from Lombard St in downtown St. Johns
110+ year old trolley tracks being removed from Lombard St. in St. Johns

(July 21, 2022) The Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) North Lombard Main Street Repair Project is closing sections of N Lombard Street in St. Johns' business district this summer to allow the roadway to be completely reconstructed from the ground up. The last large phase of construction will remove the damaged roadway and century-old trolley tracks from beneath the road’s surface. Crews will remove the trolley tracks by digging down to the dirt below the roadway and building back up N Lombard Street from scratch. This project will significantly extend the pavement life of the street while also reducing the chance of potholes and other problems cause by the buried rail tracks. 

The road reconstruction on N Lombard Street is divided into three zones, to reduce disruption to businesses and residents in the area: eastern, central, and western. Each zone will be closed for about a month. The eastern zone, which was closed in mid-July and will stay closed through mid-August, includes two blocks of N Lombard Street from east of N Charleston Avenue to west of N John Avenue. The central zone, closed from mid-August through mid-September, is made up of an approximately three-block stretch of Lombard from west of N John Avenue to west of N Alta Avenue. The western zone, closed from mid-September through mid-October, will include repair on four blocks of Lombard from west of N Alta Avenue to west of N New York Avenue.  

Sidewalks will remain open along Lombard for the duration of the road closures, providing pedestrian access to local businesses. Drivers can still access businesses by parking on neighboring side streets as well as the portions N Lombard Street that are not part of active construction.  The recommended bypass route for through traffic is N Ivanhoe Street. Travelers are encouraged to take other climate-friendly forms of transportation to visit St. Johns, such as public transit. The neighborhood’s business corridor is served by TriMet’s 4, 44, 75 and 16 bus routes. People can plan their trip to St. Johns using TriMet’s Trip Planner on the transit agency’s homepage.  

Making Lombard safer for all Portlanders 

The North Lombard Main Street Repair Project has been underway for several months now and has nearly completed all concrete work. Crews have added 52 new ADA curb ramps and will be adding marked crosswalks along the nine-block stretch of N Lombard Street. Stormwater infrastructure improvements have also been added to the business district. The traffic signal at the intersection of N Lombard Street and N Philadelphia Avenue has been removed, and a rapid flashing beacon has been added to N Charleston Avenue.  

While we dig up a century-old St. Johns relic, we hope you “dig St. Johns” by supporting small business 

While we work to dig up and repave Lombard, we hope you’ll support Lombard’s small businesses that remain open during construction. The St. Johns Boosters are selling “I Dig St. Johns” tote bags which pay tribute to a 1970s neighborhood campaign to support St. Johns businesses. With sidewalks open to pedestrians (and strollers!) parents have been enjoying walks with little ones for up-close views of diggers and dump trucks in action. With a stop for lunch or coffee, it makes for a great family outing. When the equipment is parked in the afternoon, St. Johns feels even more like a small town in a big city because the usual road noise is also missing, making for a unique shopping and dining experience.