What’s happening now?
Construction activities began in late September 2021 and will likely wrap up in fall 2022. As a result of the extensive work set to take place in the roadway, some areas will close during construction. To minimize impacts to businesses, residents and travelers, the contractor will keep as many areas open as possible when not actively under construction and provide flagging and temporary pedestrian routes to safely bypass work zones. Larger street closures will begin in spring 2022.
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 need to be removed and the driving surface reconstructed.
Create an accessible environment for people walking and using mobility devices
- Adding 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
- Remove pedestrian signal at John and replace 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
- Maintain adequate bike and car parking for people shopping, working, dining, and visiting St. Johns
- Add 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
- Analyze cut-through driving behavior that is detrimental to safety and comfort on N Lombard
- Remove traffic signal at Philadelphia and replace with an all-way stop
Help reduce Portland’s infrastructure funding gap
- Remove rail and repair/replace 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 that continually fix a failing asset
The schedule is subject to change depending on weather and conditions in the project area.
- Crews completed erosion control and tree protection measure setup (fences, etc.)
- October 8 – Traffic signals will be deactivated at N Philadelphia Avenue and at N John Ave. Note: These signals will not be replaced. A new flashing beacon will be constructed in 2022 at N Charleston Ave.
- October 9 – Tree removals (details below). The plan is to complete necessary tree removals in one day, but weather and availability of arborists may impact duration.
- October 21 – Potholing for maintenance holes, beginning at N Charleston Ave and moving west toward N New York Ave. This work is expected to take two days to complete.
- October 20-21 – Maintenance hole installation at the intersection of N Charleston Ave and N Lombard Street. This work is expected to take two days to complete.
- October 21 – Maintenance hole installation at the intersection of N Philadelphia Ave and N Lombard Street.
- October 22 – Maintenance hole installation at the intersection of N Chicago Ave and N Lombard Street.
- Storm sewer work continues throughout the project area.
- Construction will pause from November 18, 2021 through January 4, 2022 during the Holiday Moratorium.
- North side curb demolition begins. New curb ramps and curb extensions start to be formed and poured on the north side of Lombard.
- Stormwater maintenance hole work concludes.
- Curb ramp demolition begins on the south side of N Lombard, moving east to west.
- After curb ramp demolition is complete, the south side curb ramps and curb extensions are formed and poured.
- Rapid flashing beacons are installed at N Lombard and Charleston. Note: It can take several weeks (and sometimes more than a month) to work with PGE to turn the beacon “on.”
- At the end of this period, almost all concrete work behind the curb is complete on the project.
- N Lombard full-street closures begin. For this work, the project is divided into three zones: eastern, central, and western. The eastern zone is from east of Charleston to west of John. Central zone is from west of John to west of Alta. Western zone is from west of Alta to west of New York.
- Each zone will be closed for about a month. As of now, eastern zone will be first (in April), central zone next (in May), and western zone last (in June). Dates and sequencing could change.
- During this time, sidewalks are open, but everything between the curbs is under construction. This includes removal of asphalt, removal of streetcar tracks, grading of base rock, installation of concrete bus pads, and base lifts of new asphalt. No vehicles are allowed in the closure area.
- The contractor is required to provide a safe, workable surface for the St. Johns Parade and Bizarre on May 14, including moving equipment out of the way.
- Final paving occurs for all reconstructed areas, from St Louis to Richmond Avenues.
- Signs, striping and pavement markings are installed.
We appreciate everyone’s patience as we begin this major maintenance investment in St. Johns. While the project may be disruptive at times, fully repairing the street now will reduce future disruptions over the next 20 years.
Why is PBOT removing trees?
PBOT surveyors picked up 134 trees in the overall project area, which are added to a spreadsheet and are flagged in our construction plans. PBOT projects always have an arborist from Urban Forestry on board, who helps evaluate health of the trees and generally advocates for saving as many as possible. In our case, the 24 removals were the trees that could absolutely not be saved. 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.
All trees slated for removal (except three) were removed on Saturday 10/9. The pending 3 trees are the smaller ones near the north west corner of New York. Those are not impacted by the project directly but are slated for removal due to being in poor health and will be replaced with healthier trees based on the arborist’s recommendation.
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
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
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$3 million for pavement reconstruction from the Build Portland investment program
$2 million for safe crossings, curb extensions, and upgraded bus stops from PBOT