Unexpected difficulties repaving Southwest Capitol HIghway cause concern but won't delay Multnomah Days
UPDATED – Monday 12 August 0800 hours. Delays in repaving Southwest Capitol Highway will not mean delays or detours for Multnomah Days on Saturday August 17. The Multnomah Village Business Association expressed its relief in a press release late last week. "The team met this morning and decided to finish up and fill in the current hole at 35th and Capitol Hwy. They will do a patch over and clean up in that area and the areas around the curbs. They should be done with this early next week (Aug. 13). They will not do any more digging until after Multnomah Days, where (sic) they will resume their project."
The city of Portland knows life hasn't been easy for merchants in Multnomah Village these last few months and it isn't going to get much easier any time soon.
So the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), which is in charge of the current repaving of Southwest Capitol Highway, has stepped up as a major financial backer and will be the title sponsor of Multnomah Days, the annual neighborhood festival set for Saturday, Aug.17.
"We see Multnomah Days as a great opportunity to connect with SW Portlanders on transportation projects and programs in their neighborhoods," PBOT's Hannah Schafer wrote in an email. "It is also important to us to support the business community, which has been and will continue to be impacted by the construction of these projects."
To that end, she wrote, "We are spending $3,000 on the title sponsorship of Multnomah Days, which is the largest event sponsorship we are doing this season."
The sponsorship is one tactic supporting a broader strategy for PBOT when it comes to public outreach.
"PBOT has been and is going to participate in more than 35 community events from May to September and has over $20,000 committed to these event sponsorships," Schafer wrote. "Our priority has been to deepen our engagement and partnerships in communities of color in support of our equity goals, so that has been our criteria for selecting events."
PBOT's financial support for Multnomah Days entitles it to a pretty robust presence on Southwest Capitol Highway on the third Saturday of August, explained Christine Lassiter of the Multnomah Village Business Association.
"They will receive a banner, two booths, and advertisements on all the media that goes out. This is the first time the city bureau has sponsored this event to my knowledge," Lassiter wrote.
People who attend Multnomah Days can meet staffers at the booths, who can explain what's going to be happening with the Southwest Capitol Highway: Multnomah Village to West Portland Project.
The widening of Capitol Highway to make it more pedestrian friendly will also involve substantial work on the local sewer and stormwater systems. The project could cost as much as $25 million and is set to begin early next year.
Residents living near Southwest Capitol Highway south of Multnomah Boulevard will be able to find out if, and how, next year's construction might generally affect their daily routines.
But, as Schafer explained, it's too soon to say specifically what will happen when.
"Sequencing of construction on Capitol Highway will remain unknown until we have our Construction Manager/General Contractor under contract this fall. They are tasked with determining means and methods that balance efficiency, neighborhood impact and other factors. They will also propose the detours and traffic control, with PBOT approval of course," she wrote.
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