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Map of alternate routes
Map of alternate routes
Traffic Advisory: Springwater Corridor closure takes effect today; travel safely and be aware of additional bicycle traffic on city streets (Photo) - 07/09/18

(July 9, 2018) The City of Portland and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers advise the traveling public to be aware of additional bicycle traffic through the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhoods and the South Waterfront as the closure of a popular segment of the Springwater Corridor takes effect this morning.  

A major restoration project to benefit salmon and other wildlife will close a section of the trail around Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge starting 7 a.m. Monday, July 9, and is scheduled to continue through October 31.  This is a hard closure – all hours, all days.

Upwards of 2,000 people use that corridor daily and now will choose from an array of alternate routes along neighborhood streets and trails and along the city’s network of bicycle lanes, adding to the usual summer uptick in bicycle travel. The traveling public is asked to be alert, respectful and patient as travel patterns adjust during the closure.

As with all construction projects, people are asked to use caution, obey traffic laws and expect some delays.

In particular these alternate routes and intersections are expected to experience additional bicycle travel:

  • SE McLoughlin Boulevard and SE Harold Street - a major intersection where bicycle travelers will cross. The intersection has a marked crosswalk and push-button signal.
  • SE Bybee and 19th Avenue – the Portland Bureau of Transportation has improved this crossing with  white and green striping for people walking and bicycling as well as a new rapid flash beacon.  When the beacon’s flashing lights are activated, drivers are required to stop to allow people bicycling and walking to cross safely.
  • SE Tacoma Street- also has a flashing beacon to alert drivers to stop for people crossing.
  • The SE 19th Avenue Neighborhood Greenway – the Portland Bureau of Transportation has created a new north-south connection in the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhoods, connecting to the SE 17th Avenue bicycle lane. The new greenway is designed to be a low stress bicycle and walking route with reduced motor vehicle travel. https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/75551
  • On the westside, people bicycling along the Willamette Greenway Trail between the Sellwood Bridge and South Waterfront are asked to watch for pedestrians, especially on narrow portions of the trail and adjust their speed accordingly.
  • South Waterfront streets also are expected to see additional bicycle travel from the greenway to downtown.

For additional information view the June 28 traffic advisory as well as project page and map of alternate routes: www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/oaksbottom

Poetry signage for Springwater closure
Poetry signage for Springwater closure
Traffic Advisory: Oaks Bottom restoration begins July 1; Springwater Corridor open through holiday weekend; new closure date July 9 (Photo) - 06/28/18

(June 28, 2018) –  While a major restoration project at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge will start as scheduled on July 1, project partners are keeping the Springwater Corridor trail open another week to accommodate the busy Fourth of July holiday and Waterfront Blues Festival weekend.

The Springwater Corridor trail closure will now begin July 9 and continue as planned through October 31.

 “I’m pleased that through creative scheduling, project partners are keeping the project moving forward on time and keeping the trail open an extra week for holiday festivities and one of Portland’s signature summer events,” said Mike Jordan, Environmental Services director.  “A big reason for the flexibility in scheduling is that the contractor has already begun moving materials and equipment into the site before the construction start date. That early mobilization keeps the project moving and the trail open.”

Travelers are advised that between July 9 and October 31:

  • The Springwater Corridor trail will be OPEN to the wildlife refuge but CLOSED as a through route.
  • Alternate routes include (see map):

Westside option: The new Sellwood Bridge provides a connection to the newly paved Willamette Greenway Trail – a good option for commuters traveling to South Waterfront and downtown. Please note that the Greenway is popular with pedestrians. People on bicycles are advised to adjust their speed and expectations of travel time.

Eastside option: The SE 19th Avenue Neighborhood Greenway connects to the SE 17th Avenue bike lane on the east side. This is a route that has been newly improved by the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

  • In addition to those routes, many other options exist in the city’s extensive bicycle network.
  • Walking trails will remain open within the wildlife refuge. Bicycles are not allowed on unpaved trails.
  • Access to the Oaks Amusement Park and Oregon Yacht Club will be maintained from the south throughout the project. 
  • As with all construction projects, the traveling public is advised to adjust expectations about travel times and travel cautiously and considerately.

The Oaks Bottom restoration project is a collaborative effort between the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services, Portland Parks & Recreation, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, which has provided a portion of the funding and will manage construction.  The project is taking place during the summer “in water work window,” as required by state law, to minimize impacts to salmon.

Crews will replace a small pipe culvert under the trail that blocks salmon passage into the refuge and install a large open bottom concrete culvert to improve salmon access and water flow between the refuge and Willamette River.

To protect and preserve the condition of the Springwater Corridor, heavy construction equipment and materials will be transported to the site by barge and along the railroad tracks.  Crews will cut through the berm that holds the Springwater Corridor trail and adjacent railroad track, install the culvert, backfill the berm, and then replace the trail. Crews also will deepen channels to improve water flow for all resident wildlife, including bats, frogs, reptiles and the 175 species of birds that use the protected area. In spring, project partners will plant thousands of native trees and shrubs.  A new overlook and a viewing platform will also be built as part of the project.

More information may be found at: www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/oaksbottom


City Council Approves $126,000 in grants to community groups for watershed restoration - 06/27/18

Today, the Portland City Council unanimously approved $126,930 in Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP) grants to 14 community projects.

The Community Watershed Stewardship Program is a partnership between Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services and Portland State University (PSU).

“Portland is proud to be a city where nature is celebrated and honored,” said Commissioner Nick Fish. “The Community Watershed Stewardship Program supports partnerships with community organizations who make sure everyone, regardless of where they live and work, has access to nature in their daily lives.”

This year’s grants include projects to help remove trash from houseless camps and minimize the impacts of camping in natural areas, to engage youth in restoring natural areas, and to convert paved areas into gardens.

Since its inception in 1995, the program has granted more than $1.4 million to 286 community projects. The grant funds were matched by $4.8 million in community support through donations of services, material and volunteer time. More than 51,000 people have donated over 369,000 volunteer hours to date.

This year’s grant recipients are:  

  • Neighbors Helping Neighbors PDX ($10,000) will collect trash from unhoused Portlanders and provide ecological education to minimize negative impacts of camping. This Kenton neighborhood project is led by Spirit of Portland award winner Terrance Moses and long-time neighborhood activist Patt Opdyke.  
  • Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership’s Vernon School ($10,000) project will remove asphalt and replace it with a rain garden.
  • Friends of Zenger Farm’s Farm School ($8,285) will deliver watershed and outdoor programs for children of East Portland.
  • Depave’s Project Enhancement & Education ($10,000) will engage new Green Thumb volunteers to maintain newly created natural areas that used to be parking lots and pavement.
  • Lent School PTA Garden Committee’s Lent School Watershed Studies ($7,400) sponsors projects along Johnson Creek to underserved students in East Portland.
  • Spring Mountain Christian Academy’s Springwater Corridor Bike and Clean Up ($1,000) will clean up Johnson Creek with East Portland youth, including many whose families have immigrated from Slavic nations.
  • Johnson Creek Watershed Council ($5,819) will help fund its 11th Annual Johnson Creek Clean-Up
  • Camp ELSO (Experience Life Science Outdoors) Adventurers Program- Summer 2018 ($10,000) will offer educational field opportunities to underrepresented youth to increase watershed engagement.
  • Wilshire NatureScape Group ($9,125) will create a native species ‘nature room’ in Wilshire Park in Northeast Portland and provide a valuable educational opportunity for local schools.
  • Friends of Tryon Creek’s Tryon Field Ecology Internship ($5,000) will help to reestablish   native species and enhance understory planting.
  • Portland State University’s Native American Student and Community Center ($10,000) to help restore its rooftop garden and provide access to culturally significant species.
  • Tryon Creek Watershed Council’s Watershed 101 Mobile Training Program ($8,400) will provide educational workshops and hands-on restoration opportunities.
  • Verde’s Cully Community Rain Gardens ($10,000) will help low-income residents in the Cully neighborhood to plan, install and maintain nine rain gardens.
  • Columbia Slough Watershed Council ($9,930) will restore the natural buffer along the Columbia Slough by removing invasive species and installing native plants.

You can find more information at portlandoregon.gov/bes/CWSP.

The Bureau of Environmental Services provides city residents with programs to protect water quality and public health, including wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration. For news updates, follow @BESPortland on Twitter and visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/news.