Sunday, June 9, 2013

Summer construction may cause traffic headaches on major neighborhood street

By Dave Anderson

Work has begun on a sewer project that will snarl traffic on one of the neighborhood’s busiest streets for much of the summer.

The city has hired a contractor to install a new sewer line on the portion of Northeast Wistaria Drive that connects 42nd and 41st avenues.  This is one of the main north-south connector streets in the neighborhood and TriMet’s 75 bus normally drives the street.

It will take about a month for the contractor to install the sewer line. Then crews will return later in the summer to connect 10 houses on the south, or downhill side, of the street to the new sewer. Under the contract, all work has to be complete by Oct. 1.

During construction, traffic will be limited to one lane, with flaggers alternating through traffic. Construction is limited to 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, said Cheryl Kuck, a city spokeswoman. The contractor is allowed to work on Saturdays, but that’s unlikely because of the cost, she said.
It’s unclear whether the 75 bus will be detoured during construction. City officials will try to maintain one 10-foot travel lane, but once the open trench is dug, there might not be enough room for buses. But TriMet officials said they hadn’t heard about the project.

The work is necessary to replace a 100-year-old sewer line that’s not easily accessed because it runs along the property line between the 10 houses and the houses down the hill on Stanton Street. As part of the project, the contractor will move each house’s sewer lines 180 degrees so they flow toward Wistaria. The old line will be filled and left in place.

The project is one of many sewer replacements going on throughout the city. The same contractor, MEI Group or Moore Excavation Co. of Fairview, has been working on projects on Northeast 33rd and 57th avenues.  The city has a $6 million contract with Moore.

The new line will be a 12-inch sewer that will be about 17 to 19 feet deep and run 520 feet along Wistaria. The trench will be 4 to 6 feet wide. Residents along Wistaria won’t have any disruption of their service.

City officials said they would replace any speed bumps that are removed as a result of the construction.

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