The ADA ramp at SW Spring and 16th Streets was torn down Wednesday and will be rebuilt a fourth time. We profiled this corner the day before as an example of ongoing construction problems with new ADA ramp requirements triggered by the Bureau of Environmental Service’s (BES) Goose Hollow Sewer Repair Project.
In addition to the Spring Street ramp (above), the newly built ramp at the corner of SW Montgomery Dr and Roswell Ave was also demolished this week.
BikePortland reached out to BES for help in understanding why these builds have been so problematic. Aaron Abrams, the Community Outreach Program Manager at BES responded this morning:
Thanks for your article about the ADA ramp at SW 16th and Spring… Work at this location has proved to be challenging for the City and the contractor. The varying slopes at this corner have led to some struggles in meeting ADA specifications.
Ultimately, completing work at this location is the contractor’s responsibility; however, the City is working closely with the contractor to make sure the ramps meet ADA specifications according to PBOT standards… The contractor is required to meet design specifications that comply with federal requirements for the ramps. BES will only be paying the contractor for finished work that passes inspection. We will not be paying for attempts that don’t meet standards. Ultimately, BES ratepayers will only pay for a product that meets federal requirements and has been approved by the City. We understand how this work has disrupted that location and are confident that as we work with the contractor going forward, work will be completed successfully to restore that corner.
Yesterday I happened by the Roswell ramp pictured above while crews were completing the form for the new concrete pour. A PBOT employee was present as the group checked the slopes of each element of the form. There was a surveying tripod across the street. Clearly it was exacting work.
I also noticed at both the Roswell Avenue and Spring Street locations that the initial design of a single ramp on the diagonal had changed in subsequent builds to separate ramps for each street, in other words, two ramps per corner. A Directive from the City Engineer addresses the one versus two ramp design issue:
The City’s preference is to build two single curb ramps at a corner, rather than one diagonal ramp. However, FHWA provides for a variety of curb ramp types and configurations. Constructing one diagonal curb ramp at a corner instead of two single ramps at a corner constitutes a variance from the City’s criteria and requires approval of the PBOT ADA Technical Advisor.
Hopefully next week’s builds will be a wrap.