It has been awhile since we’ve provided a comprehensive update on the SW Capitol Highway: Multnomah Village – West Portland project. The project team has been working to ensure that our activities remain safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have been working with our contractor to finalize the construction documents and contract price. While facing some delays, the project is still moving forward, and the project team remains busy preparing the project for construction. Here are the highlights:
If you live in the area you have likely seen utility crews on SW Capitol Highway. These crews are moving pipes and poles to better fit with the City’s project. NW Natural completed gas relocations in June, and PGE will start moving power poles next week (July 20). Century Link will follow later in the summer; Portland Water Bureau in the fall. When PGE gets started next week, expect some lane closures with flaggers as they install new poles and reconnect wires. The PGE poles on SW Capitol Highway host transmission lines and are taller than most power poles, taking more work to install. Please obey all signs and flaggers and drive with caution near workers.
PBOT and BES have secured almost 90 easements or properties to be able to construct the project. Some easements are temporary for construction; others are permanent in order accommodate retaining walls or large stormwater facilities. Private property owners have received compensation for these easements, as required by state and federal law.
Engineering Plans with Minor Scope Reductions
The City design engineering team is working through comments, corrections, and minor cost-saving scope changes to complete the final plans as follows:
- The project will not construct concrete sidewalk along SW Capitol Highway between Taylors Ferry Road and Collins Street (by Central Auto Body and adjacent properties). Instead there will be a roadway-level protected walkway/bikeway.
- The project will not construct a concrete multi-use path along SW Multnomah Boulevard west of 40th Avenue and will not replace the northeast or southeast corners of the Multnomah/40th A roadway-level protected walkway/bikeway will be constructed on Multnomah between 40th and 45th Avenues.
- The construction methods for building the retaining walls in two of the large stormwater facilities are being adjusted. For example, the back of the Dolph stormwater facility will be a vegetated slope instead of a concrete wall. This provides significant cost savings.
- The elevated bike lane on the east side of SW Capitol Highway will not feature a continuous ribbon of black surfacing – it will be concrete, with striping, symbols, and occasional green paint, still providing a safe, comfortable bikeway.
The final plans, specifications and revised cost estimate are anticipated to be complete in August.
The project team is continuing to negotiate with the contractor to finalize the construction price. To keep the project moving forward, the City will start constructing three of the four stormwater treatment and detention facilities this summer and fall while final negotiations are completed. These include the two facilities along SW Multnomah Boulevard west of 40th Avenue, and the one at the end of SW 42nd Avenue next to Woods Memorial Natural Area. The basin at SW Dolph Court east of Capitol Highway will be used for construction staging and then constructed in 2021.
We expect City construction work on SW Capitol Highway proper to begin in late fall 2020 or early 2021. We expect that the heaviest construction activity on SW Capitol Highway will take place in spring through fall of 2021.
We will keep you updated on these developments throughout the remainder of 2020.
Feel free to reach out with any questions in the meantime and check the website for updates.