A smoother street is coming to NE 33rd Avenue, from NE Knott to NE Columbia, from Monday Aug. 7 through late September

Traffic Advisory
Closures and detours be in place -- during work hours only -- in six phases, about a week at a time, from south to north, along a 2-mile corridor

Update Aug. 14: Because of extreme heat, PBOT crews grinding NE 33rd Avenue will delay repaving until next week

(4 p.m. Aug. 14, 2023) With the extreme heat, PBOT crews are adjusting our street maintenance on NE 33rd Ave this week: Grinding the top layer of pavement this week, repaving next week instead of repaving as we go.

High temperatures make asphalt cooling take several hours longer per day & raise risk for crews working with 320-degree material when paving a street.

Streets with ground down surfaces are open for travel. Use caution and travel slowly, as the surface is rough with loose gravel and abrupt edges from place to place.

Next week, paving will require a full closure of the NE 33rd & Fremont intersection for two days during work hours. We'll update when the dates of that work are scheduled.

This map shows the current closure during work hours Fremont to Prescott, with local access only on side streets.

Map shows closure of NE 33rd from Fremont to Prescott



(Aug. 3, 2023) The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has started repaving NE 33rd Avenue between NE Brazee Street and NE Dekum Street, where work will continue through late September.

The preventive maintenance will prevent potholes from occurring for up to 20 years, but first it requires a series of full road closures and detours -- only in place during work hours -- for about the next seven weeks.

The work started this week south of NE Knott, with no detours and one travel lane available at all times.

Starting Monday, Aug. 7, PBOT crews will implement full closures of NE 33rd Avenue, requiring detours during daytime work hours. The closures start at NE Knott Street on Monday, and move farther north in several block sections, roughly a week at a time for the next seven weeks, through about Sept. 22. 

The work is scheduled with the goal of finishing up all the areas near schools before the start of classes for Portland Public Schools on Aug. 29. Electronic message boards, alerting drivers of the repaving project and traffic impacts, were deployed along NE 33rd Avenue last week.

Closures end each work day by 5 p.m.: Unlike the sewer emergency work the area experienced last year at NE 33rd Avenue and NE Knott Street, the full road closures for paving will not be in place at night, or on weekends. PBOT crews plan to reopen the street to traffic each day -- by 5 p.m. at the latest -- after hot asphalt has cured.

Hot asphalt is dangerous: Anyone walking, biking, driving -- or walking a pet -- on hot asphalt will risk injury to themselves and city crews, as well as damage to vehicles and other property. Do not touch a newly paved street until all road closure barricades have been removed and crews have left the area. Asphalt is heated to 320 degrees and takes several hours to cool, especially in hot weather.

Avoid the area, expect delays: The traveling public is advised to use alternate routes and to avoid the area of the road closures, which will change from week to week from south to north. Expect congestion and traffic delays during daytime work hours.

Travel slowly and cautiously on all detour and alternate routes, observe directions by reader boards and flaggers. The area is mostly residential, with narrow streets that do not ordinarily carry high volumes of traffic.

Road closures scheduled for 6 phases, moving north, from NE Knott to NE Columbia

Full road closures with detours are required for the safety of PBOT crews and people in the area of the work zone. It will also help crews produce the best long-term result, with a smooth, long-lasting street surface for years to come.

Closures of NE 33rd Avenue -- during work hours, on weekdays only -- will start from the south and move to the north, lasting one to two weeks at a time. The work is weather dependent and dates are subject to change.

Phase 1, starting Aug. 7: Full closure from NE Knott to NE Fremont. 

Phase 2: NE Fremont to NE Prescott.

  • Two-week closure required to replace road base below the surface of the street to ensure long-lasting results.

Phase 3: NE Prescott to north side of NE Alberta Street intersection.

Phase 4: NE Alberta to NE Killingsworth. 

  • Work before and after the Labor Day Holiday.

Phase 5: NE Killingsworth to NE Ainsworth.

Phase 6: NE Ainsworth to bridge just north of NE Dekum.

  • Median islands at NE Rosa Parks Way will be removed and replaced.
  • Closure of bridge and ramps at NE Columbia Blvd required.

Work zone safety, further details

Watch this video for tips on how to keep yourself and city workers safe when traveling through our work zones: National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week - YouTube

In total, PBOT crews will grind down and repave approximately 5.64 lane miles of pavement over the course of about seven weeks.

Streets with ground surfaces are open for travel. Street detours will be in effect during project hours, with access limited to TriMet buses only. Local residents and businesses are asked to utilize adjacent side streets for access during the project. Sidewalks will be open to pedestrians for the duration of the project.

Detour routes south of NE Fremont include NE 42nd Avenue to the east and NE 21st and NE 24th avenues to the west. 

This is the continuation of work that started in 2021.

NE 33rd Avenue serves TriMet line 70. People riding public transit should check trimet.org/alerts for the latest service impacts.

This work is weather-dependent, and the schedule may change. 

Thank you for your cooperation and patience while we complete this work.    

For more information about this or other maintenance projects, call PBOT maintenance dispatch at 503-823-1700.

How do PBOT crews repave a street?

In this short video, PBOT crew members explain how they grind and pave roads to extend the lifespan of city streets: 


This photo shows PBOT crews monitoring an asphalt grinding machine. Photo by PBOT.

Modern ADA curb ramps have already been installed, from NE Broadway to NE Dekum

The bureau has built or upgraded 170 corners along this corridor since the work started in 2021. Curb ramps on corners are critical for people with disabilities so they can safely access routes to important destinations. PBOT is committed to upgrading existing sidewalk corners to better serve the public.

By federal law, PBOT is required to bring curb ramps up to ADA standards whenever we resurface a road.

For more information, visit PBOT’s ADA page


In the drier months, PBOT crews perform regular, preventative maintenance on our roads by grinding down the asphalt surface and repaving the street.

PBOT’s asset managers rank pavement conditions across the city and recommend the best repair for our budget. Preventative maintenance like this grind and pave project helps keep our roads in good shape longer. It saves money in the long run, too, avoiding more costly repairs.


The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the city’s transportation system and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage, and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. Learn more at portland.gov/transportation