Portland's $5.5M project preps Gateway for street fairs
Fêtes and festivals will find a new home in the city's Gateway neighborhood after major work wraps on the Halsey-Weidler Streetscape Project later this year, officials say.
The $5.5 million place-making investment adds a new "festival street" for community events and a public plaza leading to the area's business district, plus protected bike lanes, pedestrian crossing signals, street lighting and other improvements along a 10-block stretch.
Nidal Kahl, president of the Gateway Area Business Association, praised several city bureaus for spurring "economic development that drives Portland's reputation for unique, local eco-friendly enterprise."
"The new streetscape is yet another win for East Portland and Gateway," he said.
Prosper Portland, the city's development agency, and the Portland Bureau of Transportation partnered to fund the streetscape improvements, which are located east of Interstate 205 along Northeast Halsey and Weidler streets between 102 and 112th avenues.
Planners tapped urban renewal money, Bureau of Environmental Services percent for green fees, gas tax and system development charges for the $5,564,700-project that is expected to be completed in May, with plantings and other touch-ups to occur in the summer. Here are the highlights:
• A two-block chunk of 103rd Avenue between Halsey and Clackamas streets will be transformed into a festival-friendly area with street trees, outdoor seating and space to add or remove traffic-blocking bollards during community events.
• An East Entry Triangle plaza at 112th Avenue will welcome visitors to the Halsey-Weidler business district with leafy street trees, unique lamp posts, new rainwater facilities and solar panels.
• Bus stop stations and pedestrian refuge islands will be constructed at key intersections.
• Protected bike lanes will be added along Halsey and Weidler, and green-striped bike crossings will be painted in as well. On-street parking will still be permitted.
• New curb extensions, compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, as well as scaled street lighting will be installed at every intersection. Pedestrian crossings at 112 and 106th avenues will be signalized with flashing beacons.
• Northeast Halsey Street will be repaved between 102 and 112th avenues.
Officials say the streetscape revitalization is not the only coming change for area residents. Other looming projects expected within a year include the East Glisan Street Update (as well as an I-205 overcrossing improvement on Glisan), safety enhancement on Northeast 102nd Avenue, the East Portland Access to Transit project and a Neighborhood Greenway along Holladay, Oregon, and Pacific streets.
Noted transportation bureau interim director Chris Warner: "The improvements coming to the neighborhood will make it easier for everyone to safely walk, bike, drive and take transit to local businesses, parks and schools."