By Jean Baker

What’s the City doing here? What’s going on here?

The simple answer is: a lot and all at once. Some was planned but more is serendipity.

The City Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) and the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT and Tri-Met aren’t the only cause of the traffic snarls, unexplained stoppages and holes in the streets. The gas, communications, and water companies get to go first to secure their infrastructure before the city gets going. The city can’t tell us when that’s going to happen because they have no control over private utility schedules.

Tri-Met’s construction on the Clinton Street station and the light rail tracks from Milwaukie Avenue to the OMSI station, affects 8th to 15th streets. Businesses have been moved and buildings demolished.  The pedestrian bridge over the tracks will be removed. Some streets are closed and others realigned. Starting July 15, 8th, 9th, 11th, and 12th will be periodically closed so the railroad can work on their tracks.

The Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) is working in many places at once on Division, Clinton, and side streets between 21st and 33rd. At other locations, expect work to begin on green street facilities and pedestrian improvements. The contractor is installing pipe, stormwater management facilities (bioswales), curbs, sidewalks, and paving in phases over the next year and a half. You may see periods of inactivity between construction stages. Planting trees and vegetation will occur all summer.

Between 60th – 82nd on Division, BES is installing oversized manholes and PBOT will restripe the street between 60th and 80th with bike lanes on either side of the street, one automobile lane each direction and a center turn lane. The street will be open with flaggers.

Most of the BES work on Clinton is complete. Realigning Clinton at 26th and changing the lane striping there will not happen this year. By mid-July, work will begin at the intersection of SE 27th Ave. and SE Clinton St. installing large diameter sewer pipe and manholes. This will cause lane restrictions and limited closures.

Another BES project is on Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.(39th) between Hawthorne and Division. The entire street will be closed to through traffic for up to 21 days from June 28, with a possible end date of July 15. Harrison at Chavez is closed to all traffic all directions during the project. Work will occur 24 hours a day, all days. Sewer work on 40th and 41st should be complete by mid July.

Whatever is going on when you visit, please be sure to follow safety signs and flaggers for the safety of all.  Remember, Local Access Only means the street doesn’t go through.

A combination of rezoning on Division St. and the extreme shortage of rentals in the Inner SE is driving the speed of private mixed use construction on the street. Eventually, there will be nearly 300 apartments and over 30 small commercial spaces for new businesses. The majority of the mixed use buildings are four stories, offering a mix of studios, 1 and 2 bedrooms and 800 sq. ft. micro apartments.

Starting from the East end of Division they include:

48th, where Division Live/Work plans micro apartments with plentiful bike parking.

4330 (Fox Fence) is one of the Bruun holdings. They applied for a 3 condo permit early this year, but no other activity has occurred.  This group owns the new building at 31st.

4122, the Cascadia building, has been redeveloped. OHSU and Cascadia opened a joint Walk-In clinic June 24, accepting insured and uninsured. There is a sliding scale for the uninsured.

37th – Urban Developers Group – An apartment building with no plans for commerce on the ground floor although the owner has left that door open, and no onsite parking although a few spots will be available in a neighboring lot.

37th – Division Hardware bought the empty lot to the east of their building and plans to turn it into a paved parking lot for their customers by the end of the summer.

3339, 3360, and 3330 are all owned and being built by Urban Development and Partners, who did the mixed-use building at 38th.  This trio will each have limited parking.

32nd, 31st, and 30th. The parking lot on the North side at 32nd, the parking lot on the South side at 31st St, and the redevelopment and restoration of the building at 30th are all projects of D Street Village.  The 30th building has spaces for small businesses upstairs and down with space for a couple of restaurants and a florist on the ground floor.  Parts of this building will be in business by the Street Fair. The 31st and 32nd building will have limited parking.

Intrinsic Ventures is redeveloping both the former Ford building and the former auto repair business between 11th and 12th.  Pine Street Biscuits is scheduled to move in to one of the 10 available spaces and other businesses are beginning to settle in.