Construction delays to slow Sauvie Island beachgoers this summer
More repairs are on the way for Northwest Reeder Road on Sauvie Island.
A culvert under the sole road to Sauvie Island's beaches collapsed earlier this year, forming sinkholes in the road.
Multnomah County construction crews made temporary fixes, but only one lane of the road is open.
Traffic on the road is low during the winter months, with only around 30 homes located north of the lane closure, county officials estimated.
But as temperatures rise, so does the traffic on the road.
Construction crews stabilized the road after the initial collapse, leaving one lane open to traffic. Crews installed a temporary stoplight at the site.
The crews couldn't do more extensive repairs until the in-water work window, which is a designated period when construction work poses the least risk to fish and wildlife.
More repairs are planned to start in mid-July, when the in-water work window opens for the creek that runs through the culverts under Reeder Road.
The work this summer could take roughly six to eight weeks, but Multnomah County engineering services manager Emily Miletich said their team was still determining exactly what repairs they will make, so the duration could change.
"In all likelihood we will be stabilizing one of the existing culverts (this could look like slipping a smaller pipe into the existing larger pipe that hasn't failed) and reconstructing the road to open it to two lanes of traffic," Miletich said through a county spokesperson.
The repairs this summer — which county officials say will likely cost between $250,000 and $500,000 — are only a temporary fix.
Full repairs are expected in 2023.
"We do not have a design for the culvert replacement yet. There are a lot of factors that will determine the cost — those include road alignment, regulatory requirements, and schedule. We should have a preliminary design and cost estimate in late summer," Miletich said.
The culvert collapsed where Reeder Road crosses Dairy Creek, more than a mile north of where Reeder Road and Gillihan Road connect. That means there's no alternate route to the northwest portion of the island, where popular beaches are located.
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