What's Happening Now
The City of Portland's contractor Landis & Landis Construction, LLC began major construction work on June 14, 2021 along SW Capitol Highway. A detour of southbound traffic began on August 18, 2021 and will last through fall 2022. The project is scheduled to be complete in December 2022. See our FAQ page about the detour.
Construction This Past Week (October 18-22)
Multnomah South stormwater facility was a big focus this week. Crews continue to pour retaining walls in this massive facility that will treat a large volume of runoff from the project area. Together, the walls in this facility and Multnomah North facility across the street total 5,777 square feet of vertical surfaces.
On SW Capitol Highway, retaining wall work continued between Spring Garden and Primrose Streets. These walls are taking longer than anticipated due to a shortage of concrete truck drivers and capacity issues at concrete plants. On October 22, the contractor poured the wall on the east side of Capitol south of Freeman Street (pictured at right).
Work continued on the 42nd/Woods Creek stormwater facility, including adding drain rock and soil. The Alice Trail Bridge re-opened for hikers October 15. This facility will be planted with plants next year. If you live in the area and would like a general idea of what these stormwater facilities will look like when complete, take a look at the newly installed facility at SW Carson Street between 37th and 35th Avenues, installed as part of BES’s Carson Basin – SW 39th Stormwater Project.
Throughout the project area, the contractor increased erosion control measures, including hydroseeding dirt slopes and laying down coconut fiber erosion mats.
Work Planned for the Next Two Weeks (October 25 - November 5)
Please note that as fall and winter rains become more frequent, work may be slow on some days. That said, retaining wall construction can continue in all but the heaviest rains, as can pipe installation in the roadway. Both of these types of work require continuation of the SW Capitol Highway southbound detour.
Retaining walls on SW Capitol Highway north of Dolph Court should be mostly complete by the end of this period, while work will continue on the retaining walls south of Dolph. This forecast remains subject to labor and material shortages in the concrete industry.
Water service reconnections will continue on parts of SW Capitol Highway. Affected residents will be notified in advance.
The 42nd/Woods Creek stormwater facility will be mostly complete by November, with restoration of adjacent properties the main outstanding task.
Work will continue on the numerous retaining walls of the Multnomah South stormwater facility.
Crews will continue sporadic clearing, widening, and tree trimming operations along SW Capitol Highway in non-retaining wall areas.
Traffic and Trail Impacts:
With the major detour of SW Capitol Highway now in effect, there are fewer day-to-day detours and traffic changes.
In some tight locations with large equipment on SW Capitol Highway, it may be necessary to temporarily move traffic onto gravel shoulders for very short segments. This results in some delays for northbound traffic as well as pedestrians. We are working on making the gravel surface better compacted for vehicle travel.
Alice Trail within Woods Memorial Natural Area is now open, with no further closures needed.
As fall progresses, retaining wall work will continue heading south on SW Capitol Highway, while clearing and widening continues in non-wall areas.
Starting in November, crews will begin to install the stormwater pipe and new water main in SW Capitol Highway, starting at the north end near SW Garden Home Road and moving south. Installation of the associated maintenance holes and pipes will take up a lot of space and require some smaller detours and closures. Details are still in the works.
The long-planned night work at SW Multnomah Boulevard and 40th Avenue intersection is looking to happen in mid-November. Surrounding residences will receive advance notice. The night work is necessary to install pipes and maintenance holes across SW Multnomah Boulevard without significant disruption to traffic. As part of the Noise Variance process, area residents have been notified, including near the Sears Armory staging site where there will also be some equipment noise. As many as six nights or work may occur.
Work will continue in the Multnomah South stormwater facility.
As noted above, winter weather – including snow, ice, heavy rain and wind – may slow progress.
Virtual Open Houses:
A live presentation and Q&A session took place on Zoom the evening of Thursday, June 10th, 2021. You can watch the video here.
A separate, self-guided open house featuring an interactive map covering the construction schedule and project details is available here:
This project will improve safety and mobility for all modes of travel while improving stormwater management, protecting water quality in local streams, and updating water supply infrastructure to meet modern demands. Portland’s Bureau of Transportation, Bureau of Environmental Services, and Water Bureau are working on the project together to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and enhance service delivery to the Portland community.
The project will add a continuous sidewalk and protected bike lane on the east side of SW Capitol Highway, and a multi-use path on the west side of the street, from SW Taylors Ferry Road to SW Garden Home Road. The project will collect and convey stormwater runoff through inlets and pipes to four new stormwater treatment and detention basins located nearby. The project also will upgrade the SW Capitol Highway water main to a larger, more seismically-resilient pipe between SW Marigold Street and SW Garden Home Road, with additional main replacement on SW Carson Street.
Please note that this project involves traffic detours. June-July 2021 will involve a series of closures of SW Garden Home Road and SW 40th Avenue between SW 45th Avenue and SW Capitol Highway, as well as several nights of night work at SW Multnomah Boulevard and SW 40th Avenue, for pipe installation. Then starting in August 2021, all southbound traffic on SW Capitol Highway will be diverted to SW 45th and 48th Avenues via SW Garden Home Road, and returning to SW Capitol Highway via SW Taylors Ferry Road. This includes TriMet buses. This detour will remain in place for the remainder of the 18-month project to help the contractor complete the project in a more safe, efficient fashion. Northbound traffic and TriMet buses will remain on SW Capitol Highway throughout the project. PBOT will issue Traffic Advisories in advance of these major traffic changes.
Providing sidewalks and bike lanes on this segment of SW Capitol Highway has been a community priority for nearly 30 years. This segment, between SW Garden Home Road and SW Taylors Ferry Road, hosts over 8,000 vehicles per day, is served by TriMet’s #44 bus line, and currently has no sidewalks, bike lanes, pedestrian crossings or standard stormwater facilities.
The city’s project development process for this corridor began with the Capitol Highway Plan in 1996 and continued with the SW Capitol Highway Plan Refinement Report in 2011 and the Capitol Highway Corridor Stormwater Concept Design in 2016. In each of these cases, the city faced challenges in developing a buildable project with limited funding and challenging physical constraints.
In 2016 and 2017 sufficient funding came together from the voter-approved "Fixing Our Streets" ten-cent gas tax, development charges, Environmental Services, Water Bureau, and the State of Oregon, allowing the project to advance. The project team worked closely with the community from 2016 through 2020 to refine the design and discuss property and neighborhood impacts and benefits.
This joint PBOT-BES-PWB project is funded through the Fixing Our Streets city gas tax, Transportation System Development Charges, Oregon Lottery-backed bonds authorized by the 2017 State Legislature, Bureau of Environmental Services funds, and Water Bureau funds. Fixing Our Streets is contributing roughly $6.6 million of the total project budget of $27.5 million, making this the largest project funded by the Fixing Our Streets program. The construction contract value is approximately $14 million, with remaining funds attributed to planning, design engineering, right-of-way acquisition, project management, and construction management and inspection.