NW Cornell Tunnel Project: Tunnel Rehabilitation

Structural upgrades for both tunnels are now complete and NW Cornell has reopened.
Photograph looking toward one of the Cornell Tunnels, showing new LED lighting activated and the tunnel open
Construction August 2021 - June 2022
Location Description
NW Cornell Rd., between NW 53rd Drive and NW 30th Avenue.

Construction Status: Substantially Complete

Construction Update, June 17, 2022:

Photograph showing interior of NW Cornell tunnel with completed structural repairs and new lighting
Completed structural repairs inside one of the Cornell tunnels.

Essential repairs to the NW Cornell Tunnels are now substantially complete.

NW Cornell Road is open again to the traveling public.

Project Background:

First constructed by the Works Progress Administration in 1940 and 1941, these historic tunnels have served as a key transportation connection for over 80 years. Repairs to the tunnels were necessitated by the discovery of a large crack near the crown of the western Cornell Tunnel in 2019.

The prolonged closure was required due to the constrained working environment. Located in Forest Park, the tunnels were too narrow to remain open during the required construction. Contractors working for the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) used great care while repairing damaged portions of the tunnel linings, while preserving historic nature of the structures and ensuring workers safety. The old lining of both tunnels was removed via hydro-blasting and a new lining was installed with rebar reinforced shotcrete concrete.

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