N Lombard Main Street Repair Project

Under Construction
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has reconstructed the pavement and curb ramps on N Lombard Street from N Richmond Avenue to N St Louis Avenue through the heart of downtown St. Johns.
N Lombard Main Street historic condition
Construction: September 2021 - October 2022
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What’s happening now?

  • LED blinking stop signs were installed at the intersection of N Lombard St and N Philadelphia Ave for increased visibility and awareness on April 26, 2023

Project Background and Description

In 1903, a new streetcar line that traveled along N Lombard opened in St. Johns. These rail lines, still buried under the road, are causing some of the pavement failures seen on the street. In addition, paving over the rail lines throughout the years has caused the profile of Lombard to be unusually sloped, so much so that it is difficult to add curb ramps that meet ADA standards.

To truly make N Lombard through St. Johns comfortable, accessible, safe, and hardy, these rail lines needed to be removed and the driving surface reconstructed.

N Lombard Main Street scope

Project Goals and Achievements

Create an accessible environment for people walking and using mobility devices

  • Added curb ramps and marked crossings at every intersection between St. Louis and Richmond to improve safety and accessibility, and make it easier for transit riders to access bus stops
  • Removed pedestrian signal at John and replaced with rapid flashing beacons at Charleston

Create a welcoming multimodal environment. Help people get to Lombard Main Street easily, reliably, efficiently, and with minimal negative impacts

  • Maintained adequate bike and car parking for people shopping, working, dining, and visiting St. Johns
  • Added bus stop extensions to allow buses to stop in-lane, reducing delays for riders of Lines 4, 16, 44, and 75 while also minimizing parking impacts
  • Analyzed cut-through driving behavior that was detrimental to safety and comfort on N Lombard
  • Removed traffic signal at Philadelphia and replaced with an all-way stop

Help reduce Portland’s infrastructure funding gap

  • Removed rail and repaired/replaced pavement throughout project area (Lombard: ~170' east of N Saint Louis to N Richmond Ave). Rebuilding Lombard now will save the city in long-term maintenance costs rather than continually fixing a failing asset

Why did PBOT remove trees? 

PBOT surveyors reviewed 134 trees in the project area which were analyzed an Urban Forestry arborist. Of the 134, 24 removals were needed. Some of the trees landed right in the middle of where new ADA curb ramps would be located or spots where we needed to place poles for street lighting at crosswalks. Some were already dead or in bad health, and others had already damaged underground utilities, curbs, and sidewalks and would have had to come out sooner or later anyway.

There were also a few smaller, unhealthy trees that our arborist flagged as wanting to remove and replace with healthier, more appropriate species; ones that the project didn't necessarily have to remove but we chose to voluntarily at the recommendation of the arborist, with the idea that the trees we'll be replanting have a better chance of long-term survival.

New trees will be planted in spring 2023.

Trees by the numbers:

  • 134 surveyed in project area
  • 110 trees preserved
  • 24 trees removed (includes 12 nuisance trees)
  • 13 trees to be planted
  • $10,125 paid by PBOT to Urban Forestry to increase the city’s tree canopy (to make up for not being able to replant all 24 removals)

Past meetings and events

September 2021: Q&A meetings held with area businesses 

October 2020: Online Survey for Businesses

July 2019: Online Survey for Community Members

May 23, 2019: Design Concept Open House

February 20, 2019: St. Johns Business Boosters presentation and discussion

January 14, 2019: St. Johns Neighborhood Association meeting -- project overview and early design concept

January 15, 2019: James John PTA meeting - project overview and early design concept; discussion with PTA about students' walking routes

October 26, 2018: Project walk with Business Boosters to discuss early concepts

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Project Funding

$3 million for pavement reconstruction from the Build Portland investment program
$2 million for safe crossings, curb extensions, and upgraded bus stops from PBOT

Project Documents