Safety concerns prompt city to close O'Bryant Square
Downtown Portland's O'Bryant Square park and Smart Park garage were closed indefinitely Monday, March 5, because of structural problems in the underground parking area.
Portland's Bureau of Transportation and Parks & Recreation said engineers working since September on the garage decided to close it after finding deficiencies in joists, walls, columns and footings that lead officials to believe it would not be safe to allow people to use the park.
"After hearing the expert opinions of engineers who have studied this facility, we feel it is necessary to close off access to O'Bryant Square Park and the O'Bryant Square SmartPark Garage," PBOT Director Leah Treat and PP&R Director Mike Abbate said in a joint statement. "This closure will ensure the public is safe while we consider long-term options."
O'Bryant Square is a half-acre site at 808 S.W. Stark St. with a small inactive fountain. An underground garage provides 100 parking spaces.
The garage was closed Sept. 4 because of safety concerns in the garage. During a scheduled summer repair project to seal cracks and stop leaking from the park, city officials discovered additional spalling concrete damage. Based on the advice of engineers, the transportation bureau decided to temporarily close the garage and have an engineering firm assess the structure.
O'Bryant Square was fenced off March 5, and could stay closed to the public until the underground garage is determined to be once again structurally sound. The city is trying to find alternate locations for two public event permit-holders, who have been notified, and the Square's occasional food cart vendor.