Northeast Fremont Street is getting a little TLC from the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
PBOT is spending roughly $4 million to upgrade and refresh a stretch of the bustling east-west corridor between North Williams and Northeast 59th avenues, with the improvements including repaved and restriped traffic lanes as well as new curb ramps and street signs.
As motorists likely already have discovered, crews are grinding and repaving between Northeast 59th and 40th avenues, or about 2.4 miles of separate lanes. The job is expected to cost $250,000 and should be completed by the end of April.
But PBOT spokesman Dylan Rivera says the work is just "one phase" of the repaving project. And 10 total lane miles on Fremont are getting new pedestrian curb ramps that comply with the standards set by the Americans With Disabilities Act. Workers have installed more than 300 new curb ramps so far.
"By providing curb ramps, it provides much better accessibility to the traveling public, especially with wheelchair travel or travel for people with vision impairment," said Maintenance Operations Sidewalks Program Manager Tom Bennett. "We really want to make the city as accessible as possible."
The bureau says it is required by city code to preserve the historic street names and dates stamped into antique pedestrian infrastructure — including misspellings. Alert shoe-gazers can find a stamp for "Tillmok" Street at the intersection of Tillamook and Northeast 35th Avenue, as well as one for "Wemme Avenue" in North Portland at the corner of Overlook boulevard and terrace, which was the terrace's original name.
PBOT encourages Portlanders to search for the misspelled "Freemont" stamp.
"These unique curb stamps are a reminder of Portland's history, preserved right under our feet," according to a news release.
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