Category: Infrastructure

MAX Blue Line Revitalize at 102nd

TriMet repair crews will close the MAX Blue Line this weekend between Gateway Transit Center and East 122nd Avenue. Shuttle bus service will transport MAX riders around the closure as workers revitalize tracks between the two stations and a rail crossing at East 102nd Avenue and Burnside Street. Construction will begin on September 23rd and be complete on the 26th. However, the Blue Line disruption and shuttle service will only occur during the weekend on the 24th and 25th.

Operators will adjust the MAX system during the four-day project, running all trains every 20 minutes throughout most of the day. Riders are encouraged to plan their trip ahead of time and check the trains’ location in real-time on trimet.org. Drivers in the area may also anticipate some disruption due to construction on the tracks. During the rail line interruption, extra TriMet staff at select stations will assist riders in making connections. Additional information about this transit disruption is available on the TriMet website.

I84 Closure at I205 Starting Sept. 23rd

TriMet construction crews will close a 1.5-mile stretch of Interstate 84 in both directions near the Interstate 205 interchange this weekend. The closure will begin on Friday night at 10 p.m. and reopen at 4 a.m. Monday morning. Additionally, barricades will block access to the NE 102nd Avenue on-ramp to I-84 west and the I-84 east Exit 7 Halsey/99nd Avenue off-ramp. This work supports the A Better Red project currently underway near the Gateway Transit Center.

The closures of I-84 will facilitate the construction of the new MAX light rail track parallel to an existing single-track segment of the Red Line. During the weekend shutdown, crews will continue building a new light rail bridge over the freeway, connecting the northern section of Portland’s Gateway Green Park and the Gateway Transit Center. Once completed, the bridge’s tracks will allow simultaneous bidirectional MAX traffic through the Gateway area, helping to alleviate bottlenecks and improve reliability across the MAX system. Crews will also install a new multi-use path to the mountain bike park alongside the new tracks. This added access route will make the recreation area more accessible to a variety of users and increase amenities in the space.

Rendering of the new Red Line bridge crossing I-84. Image courtesy TriMet

Drivers expecting to use I-84 should plan an alternate route between the evening of September 23rd and the morning of September 26th. Commuters should also anticipate more congestion than usual on I-205 as people detour around the closure. Buses will run regular service while construction takes place and offer an effective alternate travel method during the closure. While the traffic disruption will not affect transit service, some trips may take longer due to other work on the MAX Blue Line in Gresham. Additional information is available on the TriMet website.

A SE Division Party on Saturday

TriMet will host a grand opening celebration for the new FX2-Division bus line this Saturday. Activities will span three festival locations in SE Portland and Gresham. Each site features entertainment, prize giveaways, and food vendors. Attendees can take unlimited free rides on the new articulated FX buses along the route between noon and 6 p.m. on September 17th. The new service begins regular operation on Sunday the 18th, offering high-capacity and fast bus service along Division Street. Montavilla residents should arrive to the event at the SE 82nd and Division stop near Portland Community College, located at 2305 SE 82nd Avenue.

Raimore Construction partnered with TriMet for this Grand Opening Celebration. The construction company is the prime contractor for TriMet’s Division Transit Project. As a minority-owned firm, this project represents the largest contract awarded to a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise in Oregon. It is a notable success for the City’s Inclusive Contracting initiatives.

Raimore Construction President Jeff Moreland speaking, TriMet Interim General Manager Sam Desue, Jr and Division Transit Project Director Michael Kiser left. April 3, 2021

TriMet posted full schedules for each event location on its website. Guests are encouraged to take the bus between each celebration site at OMSI Station, PCC Station, and the Gresham Farmers’ Market. Participants will have the opportunity to contribute to a giant “paint-by-numbers” mural project. Event coordinators placed sections of the mural project at each of the three event sites. Cascade Behavioral Health building on SE 42nd and Division will host the completed public art project.

Attendees should plan a long day exploring SE Division Street and experiencing the new FX bus service. Drivers in the area should anticipate a change in bus operation beginning tomorrow as the new extended transit platforms go into service with more frequent service. Bus riders not attending the events should plan for higher than usual usage of the number 2 bus route. However, the new higher-capacity vehicles should accommodate the surge in demand.


Title images courtesy of TriMet

Disclosure: The author of this article servers on the Board for a group partnering with TriMet on this event.

Stormwater and Sidewalk Enhancements on E Burnside at NE 92nd Place

This week, crews began roadwork replacing corners and upgrading stormwater inlets at E Burnside Street and NE 92nd Place. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will create a curb extension at the northeast corner when reconstructing the sidewalk, increasing pedestrian visibility and shortening the travel distance across E Burnside Street. That design change required the relocation of an existing rainwater collector and the addition of a second inlet further west.

Northeast corner at E Burnside Street and NE 92nd Place before changes

Across the T intersection, on the south edge of E Burnside, workers will add a new curb ramp in alignment with the eastern crossing. That addition and the two corner improvements will provide a much-needed crosswalk for E Burnside Street. This segment of roadway allows drivers to travel from 82nd Avenue to 99th without stopping, creating a dangerous situation for pedestrians trying to cross.

New extended corner on NE 92nd Pl & NE Glisan St

Last week crews completed a similar project on the other end of NE 92nd Place at NE Glisan Street. Together, these projects create an accessible path from E Burnside Street to NE Glisan Street. However, NE 92nd Place lacks sidewalks or curbs, and its degraded street surface is a challenging path to navigate for people with limited mobility. With this recent investment by the City, this street is an ideal location for a future Local Improvement District (LID) or a City-funded sidewalk infill project. Look for construction to continue over the next few weeks with an occasional crosswalk closure. 

Building a Better 82nd Open House

This month, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) launched an online Open House featuring current plans to improve 82nd Avenue. On June 1st, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) transferred ownership of 82nd Avenue within the City of Portland to PBOT. The jurisdictional transfer includes $185 million in project funding from the state legislature, ODOT, and the City of Portland. City staff refers to the collection of infrastructure upgrades and deferred maintenance projects along the former state highway as Building a Better 82nd. Now, City planners want community members to participate in a survey, setting priorities for future enhancements.

Work on 82nd Avenue is already underway as PBOT invests $80 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to address Critical Fixes. The City must use the federal funds before the end of 2026 or risk losing access to the money. Consequentially, PBOT is implementing pre-identified projects focusing on lighting, crossings, repaving, curb ramp upgrades, and traffic signal replacements. The Survey results will guide planners as they spend the remaining $105 million on projects breaking ground after 2026.

PBOT is working on translating the survey into Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. To request a translated copy of the survey, contact the program team at 82ndavenue@portlandoregon.gov or 503-865-8282. Providing input now is the most effective way for the public to shape future investments in the corridor.


Images in this article are provide courtesy of PBOT.

Lane Closures at SE 92nd and Division

Today, road crews closed multiple lanes of traffic along SE 92nd Avenue and Division Street to repave the intersection. Over the last several weeks, workers have reconstructed corner curb ramps at this junction as part of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOTOuter Division Safety Project. This fresh layer of asphalt will smooth and level the roadway, erasing the rough seams caused by recent construction.

All users of this intersection should practice caution and patience while navigating this area. Drivers should expect delays as crews divert traffic around the worksite, and pedestrians may need to detour to other crossings. PBOT expects repaving work to continue through Friday, August 12th.

NE 97th Avenue LID Grid Restoration

Next summer, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will begin a multi-year project to reconnect portions of the City’s street grid east of Interstate 205. This work will slice up several long blocks, opening the way for new housing developments emphasizing walking, Biking, and public transportation. The project will span from NE 94th Avenue to NE 100th Avenue, with work occurring in two phases.

PBOT intends to begin Phase 1 work in mid-2023, completing sidewalk infill on NE 97th Avenue. Previous developments and public works projects added modern road infrastructure to NE 97th from NE Glisan Street to NE Davis Street. Crews will continue that work south to E Burnside Street. That area currently lacks curbs and sidewalks. This phase will also improve conditions on E Burnside Street from 94th Avenue to 97th Avenue. Portions of the sidewalk and road surface have deteriorated, particularly near the TriMet Max tracks that cross the westbound lane.

E Burnside Street at 94th Avenue Looking east

Planned for the Summer of 2024, Phase 2 of the project has a greater impact on the local streetscape. This work will create new streets and require significant private land dedication to complete. PBOT crews will build new segments of NE Couch Street from NE 97th to 99th avenues and NE Davis Street from NE 97th to 100th avenues. The project’s scope includes new streets, sidewalks, and stormwater improvements.

NE 97th Avenue and NE Couch / Davis LIDs from Portland Maps

As a Local Improvement District (LID), property owners will supply funding for this $15 million project with tax increment financing (TIF) from the Gateway Urban Renewal Area and a transportation system development charge (TSDC). PBOT will cover overhead costs incurred by managing this project.

Developer Joe Westerman and his companies own the majority of the affected properties in the LID. That concentrated ownership likely helped drive the City’s efforts to reconnect streets and will allow a significant change in road use. Although near the I205 Multi-use Path, this section of Portland is challenging to navigate outside of a car. Long blocks force pedestrians onto busy roadways and extend walking distances as people double back to reach a destination. Walkable and bike-able streets near public transit reduce the number of parking spaces needed, allowing for larger developments that maximize land usage and housing density.

NE 97th Avenue at NE Davis Street looking towards E Burnside

In 2019, this area received a surge in development interest, with one project at the corner of E Burnside Street and NE 97th Avenue receiving design approval. Other projects stalled in the Early Assistance phase of development, including a six-story building with 77 units. These planned improvements could help reignite developer interest in this area and spur a new wave of housing construction. Look for road crews to begin work next summer and prepare for new streets in 2024.

East Montavilla Sanborn Map 1928

Updated Crossings at NE 92nd Pl and Glisan

Road crews have one eastbound lane on NE Glisan Street blocked while reconstructing the corners at NE 92nd Place. Workers removed the old sidewalk infrastructure and have staked concrete forms into position. Last month they relocated stormwater inlets to handle drainage with the new curb configuration. Soon, masonry specialists will pour and finish the concrete at these corners before moving work across NE Glisan Street. When completed, pedestrian crossing at this intersection should be safer and more accessible.


Original article published February 23rd, 2022

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) plans to reconstruct two sidewalk corners and add curb ramps on NE Glisan Street at NE 92nd Place. In conjunction with a similar project to the south, this work prioritizes 92nd Place as a multi-modal connector between NE Glisan and E Burnside. Crews will expand the pedestrian zone by constructing a curb extension at the southeast corner and improving stormwater control with new street drain inlets. Across the T intersection, on the north edge of NE Glisan, workers will add two new curb ramps in alignment with the corners on the south side of the street.

NE 92nd Place Crosswalk

Degraded sidewalks along this portion of NE Glisan Street often force pedestrians to cross flooded intersections with substandard ADA ramps. Both corners rebuilt during this project will add new stormwater inlets to NE 92nd Place and install a larger grated drain along NE Glisan’s sidewalk to the east. Last year, crews moved lines and equipment off a utility pole on the southeast corner, placing them onto a new pole installed five feet to the south. Workers will remove the now unused utility pole during construction, making for a clear pedestrian path on the sidewalk.

NE 92nd Place ends at NE Glisan in a T intersection. Consequentially, designers placed curb ramps on the north edge of Glisan mid-block. The TriMet 19 bus line currently stops within a few feet of where PBOT intends to install the new curb ramps. A TriMet spokesperson explained that PBOT staff have not communicated with the transit organization about this project. As of yet, they have no plans to close the stop during construction or relocate the stop outside the crosswalk zone. However, Trimet expects to coordinate with PBOT before construction begins.

North edge of NE Glisan Street

Enhancing pedestrian crossings at this location is essential to making this area more accessible to those not traveling by car. Over a year ago, PBOT released an East Portland Arterial Streets Strategy for NE Glisan Street spanning 82nd to 102nd Avenues. If approved and funded, this plan could add protected bike lanes that would provide a buffer to pedestrians from adjacent traffic. Along with the improvements planned for this intersection, a bike lane buffer will make NE Glisan a more enjoyable place to walk. Look for work on this project to begin sometime later this year.

Curb extension markings at the southeast corner

Power Outage in Heatwave

Update: 9:38 a.m. – Pacific Power confirmed crews restored power to all affecting residences. As air conditioner use increases in the region, these minor outages could become more common. The rise in extreme heat events will also make outages more dangerous for those who require electricity to stay cool.

Update: 9:09 a.m. – Reports of power restoration are starting to come in.


This morning, customers of Pacific Power in Montavilla found themselves without electricity. A localized power outage is affecting 276 residences. The power went offline around 6:30 a.m. and, as of yet, has not been restored. Linemen are on site working to restore power to the small section of the neighborhood served by their company. Repair estimates say power should return by 11:30 a.m.

Pacific Power provides electrical service in Montavilla north of SE Stark Street. Portland General Electric (PGE) covers the southern portion of the neighborhood. PGE customers have not reported any outages in the area. With temperatures already reaching 75 degrees, residents are concerned about cooling themselves before the power service comes back. This article will update when power is restored.

New Bike-Share Stations Arrive

BIKETOWN staff recently relocated the NE Glisan bike-share docking station two blocks to the west. Less than a year ago, crews installed the dock on the south side of the roadway near NE 80th Avenue. That same docking station is now on the north side of the street near NE 78th Avenue. Its new location is near a marked crosswalk with a rapid flashing beacon. Placement close to that intersections should make the parked bikes easier to access from any side of NE Glisan.


This article originally published September 4th, 2021.

Yesterday, crews from BIKETOWN installed new bike-share stations on SE 81st Ave just south of E Burnside Street. Its construction follows another recently built unit on NE Glisan Street west of 80th Ave. When completed, the 81st Ave location will house docks for up to six e-bikes available to rent through the BIKETOWN mobile app.

Last June, a survey conducted by BIKETOWN gathered community input on where to place new electric bicycle (e-bike) docks as part of the program’s East Portland expansion. A few months later, that survey data and other factors are guiding the placement of these stations. The BIKETOWN bike finder map currently shows the new station on SE 81st Ave as available for use. However, no bikes are listed there, and the stand is missing the vertical sign that displays user instructions. This bike-share location is near Walgreens Pharmacy on the road behind Hong Phat. The station’s proximity to the number 20 and 72 TriMet bus lines should reduce excessive walking for riders not directly on the bus route.

Station on NE Glisan Street showing user instructions.

Several blocks north from the uncompleted station, BIKETOWN staff finished an identical installation on NE Glisan Street. Crews completed this location last week, and it is fully operational. Workers placed the docks on the sidewalk in front of Glisan Dental, away from traffic. The SE 81st Ave docks sit in the road’s parking lane, relying on white traffic delineator posts to protect the parked bikes.

Station on NE Glisan Street.

BIKETOWN docking stations are simple installations that securely hold locked bikes. They do not provide any charging for e-bikes. Instead, BIKETOWN offers these locations as a reliable place for customers to find and return bikes. Throughout the week, staff redistributes bikes to these locations after collecting units left in remote areas. Each e-bike has a removable battery pack that employees can replace before putting them back out for use.

BIKETOWN van used for redistribution.

Since the expansion of the BIKETOWN network in late 2020, sightings of the iconic orange bikes throughout Montavilla and greater East Portland have increased. Often they are found secured to signposts and fences. The installation of more bike docking stations will transform the scattering of transportation options into a reliable network of mobility devices. Their new consistent location gives residents the confidence to bridge the transportation gap for short trips without a personal vehicle. Businesses near the docks should also see a boost in visitors, as patrons can expect to find a bike ready for them when they head home. Look for these docks next time you plan a short trip around Montavilla and see if an e-bike can enhance your mobility.

Station on SE 81st Ave partially completed.

Correction – fixed typo of store name Hong Phat