Portland’s premier neighborhood greenway is about to get a makeover.
Next week, the Portland Bureau of Transportation will implement a “fog seal” treatment on N Going Street from Vancouver to Cesar Chavez Blvd. The work will begin on September 8th and will last for five days. In order to minimize disruptions to what PBOT refers to as “one of the most popular bike routes in the city,” city maintenance crews will work on three to four block sections at a time.
During the project, the section being worked on will be closed to all uses for the entire day in order to give the sealant material time to dry. It’s also extremely important that you don’t walk or ride on the sealant while it’s wet. You will muck up your bike and shoes and you will damage the sealing process.
Some people might choose to ride up on the sidewalk; but if you’d rather not mix among walkers, joggers, and residential driveways, PBOT will have a signed detour in place (see map above).
As for what exactly PBOT is doing to the street, it’s not exactly a repaving project. Unlike a full “grind and pave” where the existing surface is taken up and a layer of brand new pavement is put down in its place, a fog seal is a coating that’s applied to the existing pavement similar to sealing a wooden deck. The sealant is a mix of asphalt, recycled tire rubber and grit. It doesn’t last as long as a full repave, but it’s much cheaper.
According to the city’s own estimates, one lane mile of fog seal costs $8,500 versus $150-200,000 per lane mile for a grind and pave (full reconstruction can cost over $1 million per lane mile).
Since Mayor Hales made it his campaign promise to “get back to basics” and speed up road maintenance, PBOT has been fog sealing roads at a much higher rate than ever before. In a statement about the project on Going, PBOT said this “Back to Basics” initiative prioritizes maintenance on neighborhood greenways.