City reopens NE Kane Drive; City Councilors and members of work crew to greet commuters Thursday morning - 01/13/16
GRESHAM, Ore. -- The City of Gresham announced today that NE Kane Drive is expected to be open sometime tonight, and be available for regular commuter traffic during the morning commute tomorrow, Jan. 14. City engineers, consultants and contractors worked day and night through weekends and holidays to reopen the major arterial roadway for vehicular, bike and pedestrian traffic as quickly as possible following the Dec. 7 historic rainfall that caused the washout of the road.
"For the past five weeks, there has been nothing more important to us than getting your commutes restored to normal," said Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis. "This was one of Gresham's largest transportation emergencies ever, and we know that the lengthened commutes took time away from your families and your busy lives."
To get the major arterial reopened, contractors first had to move approximately 16,000 tons of material, and dump trucks made nearly 800 trips to and from the site to excavate and deliver rock, gravel and supplies. All told, in just over a month, trucks travelled more than 7,500 miles--equal to more than seven trips from Gresham to Disneyland.
The contractor, a local company, was given Notice to Proceed with the temporary repair on December 23, mobilized equipment on Christmas Eve and began construction on December 26. Since then, they have worked every single day to get Kane Road open, including weekends and holidays, sometimes around the clock.
During the coming months, NE Kane Drive will remain one of the City's most important projects. Now that the road is open, the City will continue to work with experts to design a permanent solution, coordinate with multiple governmental agencies to secure the necessary permits to conduct the work, and engage in a competitive bidding process to select a contractor. Construction on the permanent repair will likely take place during the summer months when creek flows are lower and weather conditions more favorable. The City anticipates being able to keep at least a portion of NE Kane Drive open during that construction project.
Kane Drive washed out on Dec. 7, after Gresham saw nearly six inches of rainfall in a 72-hour period. Substantial debris flows in Kelly Creek rapidly blocked the culvert beneath Kane Drive, causing water levels to rise several feet above the culvert entrance, washing out the soil above the culvert and below the roadway, creating a major chasm, approximately 140 feet long, 40 feet wide and 15 feet deep.
In the days immediately following the washout, the City of Gresham secured a Declaration of Emergency from City Council to expedite repairs, issued an emergency Request for Proposals for reconstruction consulting and made significant alterations to the City's traffic signal timing during peak commute hours on other north-south arterials in order to help alleviate the increased traffic loads.
The City also immediately began to assemble the team that made it possible to reopen the road: lead engineer Murray, Smith & Associates, Inc.; environmental consultants ESA Vigil-Agrimis; geotechnical engineers Shannon & Wilson, Inc. and contractor Moore Excavation, Inc.
MEDIA PHOTO OPPORTUNITY:
The City will celebrate the reopening of NE Kane Drive at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 14 at the site of the Kelly Creek culvert. The Mayor, Councilors and contractors will be invited to attend and view the site, and greet commuters.