Work begins on Outer SE Powell on Monday
Portland will move one step closer to taking control of Powell Boulevard on Monday, Nov. 5.
That is when the Oregon Department of Transportation, which currently owns and operates the major eastside thoroughfare, will begin work on the Outer Powell Transportation Safety Project. It will include safety improvements between 122nd and 136th avenues, such as new sidewalks, improved traffic signals and dedicated bike lanes.
No parking will be allowed on this section of Powell while the utility relocation and tree removal are under way. These activities will continue until late winter 2019.
A related project on inner Powell is already underway. The inner Powell Transportation Safety Project. is adding safety improvements, including enhanced pedestrian signals, between Southeast 20th and 34th avenues.
Powell in Portland is actually part of U.S. 26. Many serious crashes happen on it, especially along the outer section where the new project is scheduled to begin. For example, since 2003, the intersection of Powell and 122nd has been one of Oregon's top 5 percent sites for the number and severity of crashes.
The City Council has long believed Powell would be safer if it was owned and operated by the Portland Bureau of Transportation. But the council did not want to pay the cost of bringing Powell up to city standards before taking control of it. Both projects were authorized by the 2017 Oregon Legislature as preconditions for the PBOT to take ownership of Powell within the city limits.
The 2017 transportation funding package included around $21 million for both projects. The inner projected is budgeted at $3.76 million while the outer project will cost $17 million.
Both projects require lane restrictions for some of the construction work. Work on the outer project is expected to last two years.
You can learn more about the outer project at www.outerpowellsafety.org.
You can learn more about the inner project at tinyurl.com/ya4e73qr.