Blown culvert creates major washout on Kane Drive
Repairs to "indefinitely" closed thoroughfare could take weeks.
Gresham officials are calling the 4.5 inches of rain that fell Monday, Dec. 7, causing a culvert on Northeast Kane Drive to collapse and split the road in two, leaving a deep crevasse, something that should only happen every 100 years.
The street which connects Interstate 84 and Highway 26 is a major arterial for motorists through Gresham with an estimated 30,000 vehicles using the road daily. Kane Drive is closed "indefinitely" between 17th and 23rd avenues, said Elizabeth Coffey, a spokeswoman for the city, on Wednesday morning.
The major washout forced Mt. Hood Community College to close at 3 p.m. Monday and remain shut on Tuesday.
Elizabeth Coffey, a spokeswoman for the city, said a temporary pipeline was laid down so the college could handle its wastewater, but college officials decided to keep the campus closed again Tuesday. It is finals week at the school.
While the city has a contractor assessing the damage, staff is keeping an eye on the temporary pipe in light of a forecast for another rain storm dropping 2-3 inches of water through Wednesday.
The culvert, a 121-foot long metal pipe that ran under the road, collapsed under the weight of Monday's downpour, Coffey said.
She said city officials are unsure whether they will need to tap into emergency funds to pay for repairs.
"It won't be a quick repair," Coffey said. "It's going to be a longer-term discussion and we're not quite there yet with what specific repairs need to be done. At this point we're dealing with the immediate situation ... and trying to prepare for the 3 inches that are coming later today.
Kane Drive is a main entry road for the college and one of three primary corridors in East Multnomah County linking Highway 26 with I-84.
The city does not have a specific detour route in place yet, but is expected to post alternatives on its website, GreshamOregon.gov. this week.