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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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What's Happening Now

Updated July 15, 2020

The Willamette River Crossing Project is currently in the design and exploration phase. This phase includes locating underground utilities and conducting a geotechnical probe, which will provide important information about the soil deep underground and help us confirm the best path across the river.

Work continues on critical infrastructure projects like the Willamette River Crossing. Contractors must follow all safe work zone and social distancing measures. We expect this work to continue throughout the spring. Work may be delayed if staffing availability or construction resources change due to current events.

If you know people who live, work or travel through the area:

  • Tell them about our e-newsletter.
  • Invite us to your community or business group for a project presentation.
  • Share your comments and ask questions via email

West-side activities

Upcoming workGeotechnical probe 

 An illustration shows the path the geoprobe will take underneath the river and the streets of Portland.

Caption: The blue line in the image above shows the path the geotechnical probe will take to collect information about rock and soil underneath the Willamette River. 
We want to know what’s underground before we go “full bore.” One of our project’s big milestones has been to perform a geotechnical probe, or Geoprobe, to map the types of soil and rock along the proposed crossing route. The Geoprobe is one of the final tests we will perform to help us learn about soil deep under the Willamette River. 
We have known from the beginning that tunneling would be challenging, and that’s why we built an exploratory phase, including this Geoprobe, into our design-build construction process. This has allowed us the flexibility to be responsive and adapt to new information as we proceed.

Construction at 1720 SW Naito Parkway 

You may see workers within and near the parking lot at 1720 SW Naito Parkway. Drilling will be taking place at the parking lot as we work to install a casing to guide the Geoprobe. 

A map shows the location of the construction site at 1720 SW Naito Parkway.

Traffic Impacts 

  • Temporary/intermittent lane closures on SW Naito Parkway:  Temporary lane closures will be in effect on the right lane of northbound Naito Parkway as crews move equipment on and off the site. Closures will take place 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday - Saturday.  

  • S Harbor Drive (Southbound): Temporary lane closures will be in effect on the southbound Harbor Drive and streets that approach Harbor Drive as crews move equipment on and off the site. Closures will take place 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday - Saturday.  

  • S Harbor Drive (Northbound)There will be intermittent temporary closures of the middle and right lane of northbound Harbor Drive in July over a period of 1-3 days while crews deliver the drill rig to the construction site. Flaggers will be present. 

What to expect during the Geoprobe

  • Businesses will remain open during construction. 

  • Temporary paint markings in the street, sidewalk, and/or public right-of-way. 

  • Equipment noise will be approximately 90 decibels. (A power lawn mower is approximately 100 decibels.) Over a period of six weeks in July and August, geotechnical investigation and drilling will generate noise, Monday to Saturday, both days and nights. The loudest tasks will be completed before 10 p.m. 

  • Traffic controls will be in place to keep everyone safe. 

Parking lot and stairway closure

The parking lot and stairway at SW Naito Parkway between Harrison and Market Streets are closed to the public for the duration of the project. Use the ADA accessible ramp on the south end of the parking lot as a detour for the stairway.

Map showing location of detour route

East-side activities

A map shows the location of the work zone along SE 7th Avenue between Stephens and Harrison Streets, and along SE Stephens and Harrison Streets between 7th and 11th Avenues

Utility locates and site investigation at SE Stephens Street between 7th and 8th Avenues

Crews will dig in the street on SE Stephens Street between 7th and 8th Avenues to better understand the location of utilities underground. 

  • Traffic impacts: There may be street closures. Crews will work to maintain business access. 

What to expect: work hours Monday-Saturday, 7am-6pm, Street parking may be limited, and we may need to leave equipment overnight.The street may be closed during work hours. We will try to keep driveways open. Mail, garbage and delivery services will have access. Work may cause noise, dust and traffic delays.

East-side business and residential outreach

Starting in the spring of 2021, we will work along SE Stephens and SE Harrison Streets between SE 7th and 11th Avenues to connect the new underground pipe to the existing water system. As this will cause impacts to traffic, parking, and driveway access in the area, we are in communication with local businesses about their access needs to create adequate plans