Tag: Bridger

Sidewalk and Crossing Improvements Around Bridger School

Crews with Oregon Concrete Solutions are midway through a crosswalk improvement project on SE Market Street and 80th Avenue. These pedestrian improvements will add new Americans Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant curb ramps, slightly expanded corners, and better stormwater handling. Last week, workers reconstructed the northeast corner near Bridger School and will begin work on the northwest corner soon.

This work is part of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) maintenance program and completes improvements to this intersection made two years ago. Road Crews rebuilt the southern two corners of this intersection during the SE 80th Ave and Mill Street Local Improvement District (LID) project. That work was completed summer of 2020 and created modern sidewalk infrastructure from this intersection to Portland Community College’s Southeast campus. Adding compliant sidewalk corners on the north side of SE Market Street at 80th Avenue will extend accessible pathways to both schools and increase multimodal movement within the neighborhood.

PBOT recently completed two similar crossing reconstruction projects on the other side of Bridger School at SE 76th Avenue. That includes the SE Mill Street reconstruction at 76th and SE Market Street at SE 76th Avenue. New pre-construction road markings at SE Harrison Street and 76th Avenue indicate that City engineers are planning crossing improvements at that intersection. Crews will expand the northwest corner, reconstructing an ADA curb ramp further into the street. Across SE 76th Avenue, they will build a new mid-block curb ramp. This work will ensure that students and people of all mobility have a safe path to a frequented community destination.

Corner reconstruction markings at SE 76th and Harrison Street
Mid-block curb ramp markings on the east side of SE 76th at Harrison Street

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PPS SE School Rebalancing Plan Approved

Starting in Fall 2023, many Montavilla schools will shift enrollment criteria as part of the SE Enrollment & Program Balancing intuitive. The approved plan adjusts school attendance boundaries, relocates language immersion programs, and redefines grade levels served at each location. Although potentially disruptive, these changes intend to create predictable enrollment within these schools and better serve a changing community demographic. Vestal is the only neighborhood School unaffected by these changes.

On May 24th, the Portland Public Schools (PPS) Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt the Deputy Superintendent’s recommendations. That proposal resulted from a multi-year planning process by the Southeast Guiding Coalition and community members. Harrison Park will convert to a middle school at the beginning of the 2023-24 school year, and its Kindergarten through 5th Grade students will move into the Clark campus on SE 92nd Avenue, which currently houses Creative Science School. The Harrison Park Chinese Immersion program will also relocate to Clark for younger students. Children will feed into Harrison Park Middle School from Vestal and Atkinson attendance areas.

PPS SEGC – FLO- Overview Map

PPS will relocate the Creative Science School from the Clark campus to Bridger at 7910 SE Market Street. Those students will join the neighborhood program at the school, creating an additional curriculum strand and helping stabilize enrollment. The Spanish Immersion program currently at Bridger will relocate to Lent Elementary School at 5105 SE 97th Avenue. Bridger staff created a Powerpoint presentation outlining the expected adjustments to the school and providing greater context to why these changes were necessary.

PPS staff will send parents information about the rebalancing in early June. Over the next year, a detailed migration plan will provide a roadmap to the new school boundaries and school options. PPS will work to accommodate families during the transition. In some cases, allowing families already enrolled to choose when to transition to a new school. Parents and guardians should receive information about options and what these changes mean for their students within the coming months.

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Curb Ramps on SE Mill and 76th

This week, cement masons completed the curb ramp installation project at SE Mill Street and 76th Ave. After providing additional time for the new sidewalks and curbs to cure, crews will remove wood forms and patch asphalt along the road’s edge. Ten months after the first painted street markings appeared at the intersection, the City has fulfilled its promise of bringing accessible crossings to this school zone. 

Article update published on December 5th, 2021

Road crews recently completed the western half of the curb ramp installation project at SE Mill Street and 76th Ave. Workers repositioned stormwater drains away from the crossing paths and poured new concrete corners with ADA-compliant ramps. Now, work continues across the street on the eastern curb ramps at the corners and one mid-block location. Mill Street does not align through the intersection, forcing a ramp’s placement further back from the corner. Expect continued lane closures and daytime congestion on SE 76th Ave over the next several weeks.

Article update published on October 20th, 2021

This week, road crews began the curb ramp installation project at SE Mill Street and 76th Ave. Workers have repositioned stormwater drains away from the new crossing paths. Next, wood forms will reshape these corners ahead of concrete work. This project expanded from its original scope to include all four corners at the intersection. Based on road markings, ramp alignment may shift north and south from some corners to account for Mill Street’s staggered crossing of 76th Ave. Expect occasional lane closures and daytime congestion on SE 76th Ave over the next several weeks.

Original article published on Febuary 25th, 2021

Two new curb ramps are coming to the intersection of SE Mill Street and 76th Ave. The improvements will provide an accessible crossing of SE 76th Ave, near Bridger School’s rear-entrance. Each corner will gain two ramps making crossing points perpendicular to the roads they cross.

No previous ramps exist on these corners. However, there is an older single ramp on the southeast corner. It is not included in this project and will remain unaltered. Mill Street does not align perfectly through the intersection, forcing one ramp’s placement further back from the corner.

The painted street markings, indicating the planned changes, only appeared this week. Actual work often follows months after surveyors mark the street. Expect to see some sidewalk closures and curbside barricades when crews begin the project later this year.

Southwest corner

Northeast corner

Countdown to School Changes

Portland Public Schools (PPS) has one year to redraw school boundaries across Southeast Portland. With a new middle school opening and the depreciation of k-8 schools in the district, the countdown to student reorganization is underway. This month, PPS released the first draft proposal for grade configuration changes, boundary adjustments, and program movement.

Under the proposed plans, Harrison Park will convert from teaching K-8 to only accommodating grades 6-8. Students entering grades 6-8 will remain at the school. Harrison Park’s attendance zone will expand into Bridger and Vestal areas, accepting students moving up from those schools. K-5 students at Harrison Park will transfer to Bridger and Vestal. Grade 6-8 students from Bridger and Vestal will move to Harrison Park.

Additionally, Bridger students living north of Woodward Street will now feed into Madison High School if the plan remains as proposed. Many other dual-language based classes will also move around to other schools. However, all these changes are still in the planning phase. The proposal is currently up for discussion and changes.

The Southeast Guiding Coalition Meetings are still underway and will not complete phase one until December 17th of this year. PPS has set up a Google form to solicit comments regarding the proposed changes. That is just one way to provide feedback about their plan to balance student enrollment and programs across the district. PPS has made efforts to be transparent about the process, providing resource materials and videos of the meetings. On October 29th at 6 PM, the Coalition will hold an Open House to interact with the public regarding this process.

Changes regarding school assignments are always complicated and could be challenging as students get back to the classroom from distance learning. These changes are necessary to make way for work that is already in progress and adapt to modifications to k-8 schools. Hopefully, community involvement will lead to positive results as this process continues.

Discloser: The author has a child attending a Portland Public School