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‘Leverage’ filming will close Springwater Trail this week

Posted by on August 3rd, 2010 at 11:54 am

Leverage stars will be out on the Springwater Trail this week.

Filming for the TNT television series Leverage will close the Springwater Corridor Trail this Thursday and Friday (8/5 and 8/6).

Leverage has been filmed in Portland for the past two seasons. According to location manager Don Baldwin, there are two sections of the trail that will be closed intermittently between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:00 pm both days.

The first closure location is between Oaks Park (where the ramp comes down from the trail) to Spokane Street. The detour will be along Oaks Park Way from Oaks Park to Spokane Street. Baldwin says there will be signs and they’ll have flaggers helping with traffic. The second is from Spokane Street south to Umatilla Street. The detour is up Spokane to 7th, then south to Umatilla to pick up the trail.

Both closures will be in effect both days, but not simultaneously. Download PDFs of both bike route work-arounds here and here.

Michael Fine, the City of Portland’s film liaison says crews will be filming shots on the railroad tracks, but that the closure is needed because of equipment they’ll set up on the trail. He also says he understands the inconvenience the detours will cause, but hopes people will remember the economic impact of the project. “It’s not like Hollywood’s coming in from L.A. and doing this. It’s a local crew… About 80% of the jobs are local.”

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  • trail user August 3, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I’ve been an extra on Leverage. Fun times, good food, great people. And they just got renewed for a fourth season. 20 million so far in local economic impact for just these past 2 seasons. The director, Dean Devlin, a nice nerdy guy who co-produced/wrote/directed Independence Day, Stargate, Universal Soldier, Who Killed the Electric Car, and Godzilla. He drives an electric car and there are bikes all over the set whenever I’ve been there. A huge lunch buffet is catered every day. Most of the time we just sat and farted around until they called us up to be in the background, which totaled a couple hours or less per day. There’s a lot of cussing on set.

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  • cyclist August 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks for the heads up Jonathan. This detour is pretty minor, Oaks Park Way is about 10 feet from the Springwater and that stretch of road is no more than half a mile long. The Friday closure is something that all of us are familiar with due to the recent sewer work.

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  • Spiffy August 3, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I don’t really consider those Sellwood streets to be part of the Springwater…

    also I work 7am to 4pm so this wouldn’t effect my commute…

    also, I don’t commute on that section… (:

    but it’s good of them to give the heads-up on this piece of bike infrastructure…

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  • Bob August 3, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Can the city request that bicycles be written into more scripts? You know, add a little local flavah?

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  • Marcus Griffith August 3, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    How about a Leverage episode where they infiltrate a stolen bike operation to take it down? I hear the recycle locations are available for use as sets and inspiration. But than again, I hear the smoke alarm going off in Davey Jones’ locker…

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  • KWW August 3, 2010 at 12:59 pm


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  • h August 3, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    thank for the head up… Springwater has been shutting down in different parts rather too often lately… Maybe it is getting tiring for bicyclists and walkers who use the route.

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  • Steve B. August 3, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    I’m glad to have these jobs here in Portland, and happy to deal with the short detour.

    Wouldn’t it be awesome if some of the $$ spent on this went to improving the corridor?

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  • John Reinhold August 3, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    I know folks who are making their living working on this show. Hopefully all our bicycle friends will be cool to the folks during the detour – I wouldn’t want rude bicyclists to be in their minds when they consider their 5th season in Portland…


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  • Anne Hawley August 3, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    @Bob #4: Sadly, Leverage’s storyline takes place in Boston, so “local flavor” is inserted by means of aerial establishing shots of Beantown, rather than Stumptown.

    They treat Portland well though, when they do show it–they find some great locations. And besides pouring money into the community, the production folks have said some really nice things about our town publicly on Twitter and their various blogs.

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  • trail user August 3, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    The main actors all have bikes and ride around Portland. It let’s them be free to travel around outside without being noticed as much on foot.

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  • Bob_M August 3, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Portland’s hipsters are just as hip as Boston’s hipsters

    (Just not as good looking)

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  • OnTheRoad August 3, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    The bike oasis at SE 20th & Hawthorne (by the 7-11, kitty corner from Coventry Cycle) was built with funds from a production company that used Ladd’s Addition as a location back in the 1990s.

    Can’t remember if it was the Nowhere Man tv series or some Disney movie.

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  • Hart August 3, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Maybe someday they could shoot a show here that’s actually ABOUT Portland, instead of using our city as a stand-in for Boston.

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  • Amos August 3, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    @ Hart: They do, it’s just not shot in Portland. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Hart August 3, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Here’s a short film that takes place in Portland that was shot in Portland: http://vimeo.com/11331734

    (shameless plug)

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  • 3-speeder August 3, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    I thought one of the Hawthorne bike oases was paid for by the folks making that film that closed the Hawthorne Bridge for filming for a week or two many years ago. I don’t recall the film (not my style), but the star was Benicio Del Toro (or some such name). I learned about this when I was attending the public meetings for the Hawthorne Blvd redesign (whose construction was finished a few years ago).

    But maybe one of the other oases was also paid for by a film/tv crew.

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  • Paul Johnson August 3, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Unacceptable, unless TNT is willing to dole out cash to everyone inconvenienced by this.

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  • Hart August 3, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Most of TNT’s programs are a general inconvenience to the public, at least to watch.

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  • Paul Johnson August 3, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    You bring up a very good point. Perhaps a class action is in order.

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  • Red Five August 4, 2010 at 6:38 am

    There is zero benefit to me from this. Kill your television.

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  • matt picio August 4, 2010 at 8:05 am

    3-speeder (#17) – “The Hunted”. Rent it and watch it with Portland friends – with alcohol. Drink whenever you see Tommy Lee Jones or Benicio Del Toro travel between locations 20+ blocks away in less than a couple minutes of time. Drink twice whenever you see a local celebrity, or a Portland iconic landmark. Good luck remembering the end of the film, but you’ll enjoy it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Kt August 4, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Geez, Paul @18 and 20, overreact much?

    It’s an inconvenience, nothing more. It’s not like they’ve shut down all the bridges for all traffic for 2 days straight, leaving commuters stranded on one side of the river or another.

    It’s not like there is no other way to get to places. And it’s not like they’re shutting it down for weeks on end.

    It’s 2 days. And they’ve got people out there to direct traffic. It’s not like they kick you off the trail and expect you to figure out your own work-around.

    If you think you’re entitled to a cash settlement or should initiate a class action lawsuit anytime your one chosen route is closed down, well… you got bigger problems than you know.

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  • JAT in Seattle August 4, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Kt @ 23, I suspect Paul is being a bit facetious. Having said that, considering the fact that the show is called Leverage, it does feel as if the inconvenienced community (cyclists) ought to be able to exert some influence that would be of benefit – I think this is on my mind because of the Tom Vanderbilt article on the portrayal of non-drivers in Hollywood. You want to close down our trail? How about including a sypathetic cyclist character in your show?

    Because giving a bunch of jobs to caterers and F-150 driving carpenters from the ex-urbs doesn’t help me that much. A little god-damn respect in the popular media maybe would.

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  • Paul August 4, 2010 at 10:57 am

    It’s a nice opportunity for y’all to ride Springwater when I do, about 6:15 am. There’s little traffic, the view of downtown is often stunning during sunrise, and the cop who sits at 4th and Caruthers is still in bed.

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  • Speedster August 4, 2010 at 11:14 am

    I just can’t watch that show. I tried once, but I just don’t believe it.

    But I’ll happily ride around production, I just wish I could have a few minutes to talk to the writers!

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  • dcufan August 4, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I sold bikes to two of the folks helping with production downtown a few weeks ago. they were pretty savy riders and very nice.

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  • trail user August 4, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    If you want them to incorporate bikes into the show, direct your twitters to twitter.com/electric44 (Dean Devlin the producer/director) or twitter.com/jonrog1 (one of the writers) and tell them a whole bunch of Portland cyclist want some screen time. They’ll most likely do it too, they’re great guys.

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  • Paul Johnson August 4, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    @17: Anybody can travel 20+ blocks in a few minutes in Portland. In “The Hunted,” they do it in seconds. Also, they are shown pumping their own gas at the Chevron down the street from the Boys and Girls Aid Society of Oregon, right below a giant sign that says MINIMUM SERVICE ONLY…

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  • Paul Johnson August 4, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    @17: Also, in the scene where they cross the Hawthorne Bridge on the MAX, notice that in “The Hunted” universe, it’s possible to walk between cars on the MAX, it crosses the Hawthorne Bridge, the Hawthorne Bridge is nearly 30 miles long, it’s possible to have a fight on the roof of the train without getting schooled by the overhead lines, and you can see me for approximately one second riding on the bridge’s cycleway.

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  • Paul Johnson August 4, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    @23: No, I don’t believe private interests should be allowed to indiscriminately fuck with the public in such a way. It’s one thing when a bridge has a serious mechanical failure requiring a roadway to close, it’s another entirely when some entity closes a road because it pleases them. One is necessary, the other shouldn’t be allowed to happen, ever.

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  • Paul Johnson August 4, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    @28: That improperly assumes one can write a polite, cogent request, or really any other intelligent thought, into just 140 characters in the English language. Or do they speak Japanese?

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  • cyclist August 4, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Paul Johnson #31:

    I take it you’ve never ridden this section of the Springwater. Tomorrow’s detour will move you over about 10 feet onto what is basically Oaks Amusement Park’s private driveway. You ride on this driveway for about 1/4 to 1/2 a mile and then you hop back on the trail, which once again is only 10 feet away. You probably don’t lose much more than 15 seconds on this detour.

    Friday’s detour is the same detour that we took this past winter. Rather than going through to Umatilla, you get diverted at Spokane cross over Tacoma (it’s probably easiest to do it at 13th) and then hook back up with the trail at Umatilla again. You may lose as much as a minute on this detour depending on whether or not you decide to cross at the light.

    So that’s it, it’s really nothing worth getting upset about. Especially considering they’re doing it outside of the bike “rush hour” period.

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  • Paul Johnson August 4, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    @33: I have ridden that section, it’s not the extra time, it’s the principal of the thing.

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  • aljee August 4, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    the guy on the right must be the “bounty hunter”

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  • Red Five August 4, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    This was the episode Gary Coleman was supposed to be in. : (

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  • valkraider August 4, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Because giving a bunch of jobs to caterers and F-150 driving carpenters from the ex-urbs doesn’t help me that much.

    The people I know who are employed full time working on Leverage live in NE and SE Portland, all inside of 82nd. Not at all exurbanites with F150s.

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  • Anthony August 4, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Maybe next year we could have the springwater corridor open all year?

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  • JAT in Seattle August 5, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Fair enough, Valk, and Iโ€™m not trying to be a jerk (not this timeโ€ฆ). And obviously Iโ€™m open to accusations of cyber carpetbaggery.

    Iโ€™m just tired of the way cycling is portrayed in popular culture and think that these production companies are in a prime position to change that.

    The F-150 (or F-350 if I’m really mad) is just my favorite shorthand meme; you know, the way riding a bike is Hollywood’s shorthand for lame.

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  • cyclist August 5, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Paul Johnson #34: Maybe it’d make you feel better to know that the westbound section of the Sellwood Bridge is closed to auto traffic so that Leverage can film there today? Unlike the Springwater closure, the detour for autos is signficant, you have to go to the Ross Island Bridge to get across, which is significantly out of the way. They’ve left the sidewalk open, so it’s only auto traffic that is inconvenienced.

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  • Paul Johnson August 5, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    cyclist #40: Not at all, I believe the motorists who use that route should be compensated as well.

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  • trail user August 9, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Cafe Velo’s bike coffee stand was used in this Sunday’s episode where the server spikes the cops’ coffees. I’m one of the background cops in a few scenes. Did anyone see me?

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