The Newswire

If you have news to share, send your ideas and press releases to us via our contact page.

Oregon Transportation Commission to meet in Salem Jan. 18

Posted on January 16th, 2018 at 1:50 pm.

Via ODOT:

Transportation Commission to meet in Salem Jan. 18

(SALEM) — The Oregon Transportation Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18, in the Gail Achterman Conference Room of the Transportation Building, 355 Capitol Street N.E., in Salem.

The agenda includes a presentation on the Oregon Department of Transportation’s plan for implementing HB 2017 (Transportation Funding), a report on ConnectOregon funding decisions, a report on the cost to complete the Abernethy Bridge and Interstate 205 widening, a request for approval of the initial phase of the ODOT Strategic Business Plan, a request to give permission to negotiate a public-private partnership to convert highway lighting to LED, and amendments to the 2018-2021 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.

The meeting will be live streamed at https://www.youtube.com/user/OregonDOT/live.

Meetings of the OTC are open to the public and time will be available to hear public comments. Accommodations will be provided to persons with disabilities, and alternate formats of printed materials are available upon request. Please call (503) 986-3450 (or statewide relay 711) for accommodations.

New wayfinding signs will help guide neighbors to Gateway Green (PBOT)

Posted on January 2nd, 2018 at 3:39 pm.

This just in from PBOT…

Friends of Gateway Green achieves major milestone in increasing access to park.

Gateway Green wayfinding signs have been installed! Many thanks to Tom Badrick, Linda Robinson, and the army of community volunteers who saw this project through. Funding for preliminary planning and siting was provided by Prosper Portland. The signs were designed by Propel Studio. The last $5,000 to print and install the signs came from People for Bikes community engagement grant as part of PBOT’s Gateway to Opportunity project. Throughout these past 2 years, Friends of Gateway Green have been championing this effort to provide increased signage to help Portlanders more easily access Gateway Green Park by foot and bicycle. This was truly a team effort and we are so appreciative for all who made these 20 signs possible.

Pictures are courtesy of Tom Badrick.

Introducing Go To Ortho, Portland’s First Immediate Injury Care Clinic

Posted on December 6th, 2017 at 2:23 pm.

The post below is part of a paid promotional partnership between BikePortland and Lake Oswego-based Go To Ortho.

Bike injuries disrupt life. Significant injuries, such as a dislocated elbow or broken ankle, happen without warning. They are impossible to plan for and often leave us not only in pain, but ill-equipped to navigate an increasingly complex healthcare system. Introducing Go To Ortho, a new immediate injury care clinic. Go To Ortho gives you direct access to orthopedic specialists and a team of medical support that specializes in injury care.

Approximately 30 percent of emergency room visits involve injuries. Recent reports claim that musculoskeletal ailments have surpassed the common cold as the number one reason for physician visits in the United States, according to Orthopaedic Care of the Mature Athlete.

“Most injuries are the result of accidents that can throw a monkey wrench into your life,” said Dr. Steve Madey, an orthopedic surgeon and a partner at Go To Ortho. “If you fall off your bike and break your wrist, how quickly you can get back to work and be productive is critical. We provide an easy access point to an expert orthopedic team. Our model maximizes efficiency and expertise while minimizing waiting and cost.”

The first clinic of its kind in the Portland metro area, Go To Ortho is an immediate injury care clinic where patients can walk in and be immediately seen by a team of specialists that day. If surgery is needed, the specialist schedules it at the appointment, minimizing delays for healing. By going directly to the specialists, patients can avoid extra appointments, as well as the typically higher costs of emergency room visits. Go To Ortho opened in Lake Oswego in August. Its launch follows the success of a similar care model introduced in many other cities in the U.S.
[Read more…]

Join a Salmonberry Trail planning advisory committee

Posted on December 1st, 2017 at 2:55 pm.

From our friends at Oregon State Parks:

Would you like to help make the Salmonberry Trail successful in Washington County?

Members of the Salmonberry Trail Intergovernmental Agency are excited to announce the opportunity to apply for membership on the Valley Segment Planning Ad-Hoc Advisory Committee. There are 10-15 seats available for committee membership for a term beginning in January 2018.

Learn more: http://salmonberrytrail.org/

About the Ad-Hoc Advisory Committee
The committee will advise the Co-Conveners (Oregon Department of Forestry, Washington County, and the Washington County Visitor’s Association) on all matters related to development of the Salmonberry Trail in Washington County, including trail alignments, trailhead designs and funding priorities. The committee will be comprised of a cross-section of stakeholders, including representatives of local governments, adjacent landowners, community members, local business interests, potential trail user groups, and motivated and knowledgeable trail enthusiasts.
[Read more…]

Newswire: Historic Columbia River Hwy re-opens from Larch to Bridal Veil

Posted on November 22nd, 2017 at 2:49 pm.

This just in… from our friends at ODOT:

Historic Highway opens from Larch Mountain Road to Bridal Veil

A six-mile section of the Historic Columbia River Highway from Larch Mountain Road to Bridal Veil re-opened Wednesday morning 11 weeks after it was closed by the Eagle Creek Fire.

Vista House at Crown Point, one of the most popular attractions the Gorge, is also scheduled to re-open Wednesday.

The road has been closed since Sept. 4, two days after the start of the Eagle Creek Fire. While the eminent hazard trees and rock fall dangers have been mitigated, travelers need to remember that the Gorge is chronically prone to slides and should continue to use caution and respect all closure points and private property boundaries.

The opening of the roadway from Larch Mountain Road to Bridal Veil now provides access to local businesses and the post office, but restrictions remain on recreation. Here is a look at what’s open and what’s closed in the newly-opened area.

– No stopping or parking is allowed on the shoulders.
– Vista House is expected to be open Wednesday. Normal operating hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
– Guy Talbot State Park is open. A short trail leads from the parking area to Latourell Falls.
– Bridal Veil State Park and trail is also open. Hikers should expect winter conditions at both locations.
– Angel’s Rest parking lot and trail are closed.
– Shepperd’s Dell Falls trail is closed.
– The Multnomah Falls Lodge is not located in this section of opened roadway and remains closed to all visitors for safety reasons at this time.
– Crews installed no parking signs in places along the highway and put up barricades to keep travelers from using recreation areas that remain closed.

The Historic Columbia River Highway remains closed between just east of Bridal Veil and Ainsworth with no timeline set for re-opening.

The Multnomah Falls Lodge and the Multnomah Falls parking area on I-84 may re-open by the end of the year. A separate announcement will be made when an opening date for the Lodge is set.

Areas along the route are evaluated for hazards on a case-by-case basis. Visitors are reminded to respect private property rights and closures and be aware of the hazards that exist as winter sets in. Fire impacts have heightened these risks.

At Bridal Veil, eastbound travelers on the Historic Columbia River Highway can turn west onto Interstate 84 or turn around and go west back up the Historic Highway. As a reminder, there is no I-84 eastbound access from the Bridal Veil interchange.

Crews from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Oregon Department of Transportation have all been working in recent weeks to remove immediate roadway hazards from this newly-opened section of the Historic Columbia River Highway.

Press release: Families and Loved Ones Honor Memories of Road Traffic Victims

Posted on November 17th, 2017 at 12:06 pm.

From The Street Trust:

Families and Loved Ones Honor Memories of Road Traffic Victims

PORTLAND, OR — Dozens of community members will gather at the Rosewood Initiative in Southeast Portland on Sunday to commemorate the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims and honor the memories of friends and loved ones who died as a result of road crashes.

Participants will gather at 12:00 p.m. and take a silent walk of solidarity with road traffic victims’ loved ones and families. Community members who have lost family members to road traffic will give brief remarks and the Rosewood Initiative will feature an art exhibit to raise awareness of the human toll of road crashes. This event is organized by a coalition of organizations including The Street Trust, Families For Safe Streets, and the Rosewood Initiative.

“Nearly 500 people died last year on Oregon roads,” said The Street Trust’s deputy director LeeAnne Fergason, “and it’s critical for those lives to be remembered. We believe that zero deaths and injuries on our streets is possible through initiatives like Vision Zero education and policies, reduced speed postings, and street safety projects. We will have to advocate to make sure Vision Zero becomes a reality.”

Vision Zero is the concept that one death on our streets is too many. According to the City of Portland, Portland families deserve safe streets on which to walk, bike, operate mobility devices, access transit, and drive. The Portland Bureau of Transportation aims to make our transportation system the safest possible and to move toward zero traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries in the next ten years.

“My son was killed on a crosswalk by light rail,” explains Darla Sturdy, ” I joined Families for Safe Streets to push for safe streets so that mothers will not have to go through what I have, and yet another person was killed this month. Join us on Sunday to remember our loved ones and fight for Vision Zero.”

Every member of Families for Safe Streets has a story like Darla’s. They are a group of mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and siblings marching to end traffic violence and take another step towards achieving Vision Zero in Oregon and SW Washington during this year’s World Day of Remembrance event on November 19th.

County: Morrison Bridge reopens this Sunday (10/22)

Posted on October 19th, 2017 at 4:36 pm.

Latest from Mult Co:

Morrison Bridge reopens Sunday, October 22

The Morrison Bridge will reopen to traffic no later than 6 a.m. on Sunday, October 22 as the replacement of the lift span deck nears completion.
Starting October 22, westbound traffic will again be able to access downtown from SE Morrison St. and SE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Access from the central eastside has been cut off since spring due to construction. The right westbound lane of the east approach ramp will become a right turn only lane to Interstate 5 north.

The bridge traffic alignment starting October 22 will include two westbound lanes, one eastbound lane, and open sidewalks on both sides of the bridge (including the multi-use path on the south side). All ramps will be open, except the ramp from southbound SW Naito Parkway to eastbound Morrison Bridge which remains closed until October 28. All six traffic lanes will reopen by October 30.

Effective October 22, the vehicle weight limit will be restored to a maximum of 40 tons, allowing TriMet’s 15-Belmont/NW 23rd bus route to resume service over the bridge for the first time in several years. The vehicle weight limit was reduced to 10 tons due to the deteriorated lift span deck that was replaced this year.

The vehicle speed limit on the bridge will increase from 25 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour in November, when construction is completed.
General contractor Hamilton Construction will demobilize equipment from the bridge during the week of October 23, which will require several lanes to be closed. Weather permitting, the contractor will close the bridge to all traffic on Friday, October 27 at 9 p.m. to apply a top overlay to the lift span deck. The bridge will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, October 30. The epoxy overlay resembles asphalt and provides a better riding surface with good traction. In the event of rain, this work will be postponed until a later date.

After the Morrison Bridge returns to service, repair work will shift north to the Burnside Bridge. Hamilton Construction tentatively plans to close the bridge the weekend of November 17-19 to set up traffic control for a two-year project that will repair damaged concrete on the bridge deck, sidewalks and railings. Two of five lanes will be closed during the work and bikes and pedestrians will share a path on each side of the bridge.

For more information about the Morrison and Burnside bridge repairs, visit www.multco.us/bridges, or follow @MultcoBridges on Twitter.

# # #

Eagle Creek Fire/Historic Hwy update from ODOT

Posted on October 19th, 2017 at 12:12 pm.

Taken from 10/12 Historic Columbia River Highway newsletter:

Eagle Creek Fire Update

As of October 11, according to the Eagle Creek Fire Incident managers, the fire has burned 48,831 acres and is 50 percent contained.

Cooler temperatures and rain will help reduce the potential for significant fire activity. The uncontained portion of the fire is in steep, inaccessible terrain and fire managers do not anticipate the wildfire will spread in these areas.

Falling trees and rocks punched through wooden railings and decorative rail along the Historic Highway. Rocks of varying sizes slid down slopes and off of steep hillsides. In many places, the rocks and trees line that the road and those in the distance are charred and likely weakened.

The fire removed vegetation, underbrush and tree roots that support the Columbia Gorge. We expect to see land and rock slides with additional rain.

ODOT crews and hired contractors continue to remove trees in danger of falling into the roadway, scale slopes to remove debris and rocks, and inspect structures.

The Historic Highway will remain closed until hazards have been removed and it is safe to open.

The wood lining and portal timbers inside of the Oneonta Tunnel caught fire, and there are concerns about heat-related damage to the structural shotcrete under the wood. The bluffs on either side of the tunnel continue to drop rocks, and our engineers have been unable to safely determine any additional structural damage.

Once we are able to safely access the inside of the structure and determine what restoration is needed, we will determine the cost to rehabilitate the wood and any additional damage and pursue funding to restore the tunnel.

Thank you for continuing to stay off the Historic Columbia River Highway and State Trail, as well as all the trails closed due to the Eagle Creek Fire.

City seeks Gateway Green Project Advisory Committee members

Posted on October 13th, 2017 at 2:30 pm.

Really sorry for the late notice here folks, but figured better late than never. This is a great chance to have a say and be a part of Gateway Green! Note the deadline for applications is 10/15 – that’s this Sunday night.

Help Shape the Future of Gateway Green

We are recruiting a diverse group of community advisors!

Portland Parks & Recreation and our leading partner Friends of Gateway Green are looking for interested Portlanders to serve on the Gateway Green Project Advisory Committee.

This group will help shape a refined park design to guide natural habitat restoration, improve pedestrian and bicycle access, and expand opportunities for a variety of recreation and outdoor activities for people of all ages and abilities.

Park enthusiasts, outdoor adventurers, hikers, runners, and cyclists are encouraged to apply!

Gateway Green is a 25-acre park site is located just east of Rocky Butte between I-205 and I-84, at the intersection of the I-205 regional trail and the future Sullivan’s Gulch Trail. Opened in June 2017, the park currently has off-road cycling, walking and running trails, and the Dirt Lab, a pump track and bike skills area. This is a car free park, with transit access at the nearby Gateway Transit Center, and access for pedestrians and cyclists from the I-205 multi-use trail.
Learn more about Gateway Green at www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/74068.

Interested is helping to shape the future of Gateway Green?
An Interest Form with more information, timeline and application is attached and available online https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GatewayGreenAdvisor.

The application process ends on October 15 at 5:00pm. Questions? Contact Barbara.Hart@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-5596.

Two-week Morrison Bridge closure begins October 9

Posted on October 6th, 2017 at 9:08 am.

Via Multnomah County press release:

Two-week Morrison Bridge closure begins October 9

The Morrison Bridge will be closed to all traffic for as long as two weeks starting Monday, October 9 at 12:01 a.m. During the closure a contractor will pour concrete for the west leaf of the lift span deck and balance the counterweight to support the heavier new deck. A two-inch concrete layer will be poured into the top of the new steel grate deck, to provide better traction. The bridge closure is needed because vibrations from traffic can damage new concrete while it cures, or hardens.

The closure will impact motor vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians. The bridge will reopen earlier than Sunday, October 22 if the work is completed ahead of schedule. The project is nearly complete. During the week of October 23 there will be lane closures at off-peak hours while the contractor removes construction equipment. All six traffic lanes will be open by October 31.

The two-week bridge closure will impact traffic on nearby roads and bridges. Details of the traffic plan include:
Ramps between the Morrison Bridge and Interstate 5 and Interstate 84 will be closed, except for the ramp from the Morrison Bridge westbound to I-5 north.
The closure will increase congestion on the Hawthorne and Burnside bridges during commute hours. Commuting drivers may want to avoid the drawbridges by:
Using the Marquam and Fremont bridges westbound in the morning to access downtown
Exiting downtown via Interstate 405 to the Marquam and Fremont bridges to access I-5 and I-84 in the afternoon
Due to construction that has closed two lanes on the Broadway Bridge, the bridge is not recommended as an alternate route.
Motorists can also access I-84 eastbound at NE Grand Avenue and NE Everett Street or NE Irving and NE 16th Ave.
Access to I-5 north on the eastside is from the ramp at NE Broadway and N Williams Ave.
I-5 south traffic can access the onramp to Highway 99E/U.S. 26.
Commuters may want to consider using the MAX Light Rail System to get into and out of downtown during the closure. Go to trimet.org to plan your trip or call TriMet’s Rider Support team at 503-238-RIDE (7433), between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. seven days a week, for trip planning help. TriMet bus and Portland Streetcar riders should expect traffic congestion in the central east side and plan extra time for their trips.

During the closure Hamilton Construction will complete the concrete pour, remove scaffolding, and demobilize from the west pit on the lift span. The contractor will also balance the west leaf, since the new deck is much heavier than the old deck made of fiber reinforced polymer. A number of components are being upgraded to accommodate the heavier deck.

Depending on the weather this month, the contractor may need to close the Morrison Bridge for one weekend in spring 2018 to apply the final overlay coat to the lift span deck. The overlay resembles asphalt and provides a smooth ride with good traction.

Multnomah County maintains the Morrison Bridge and five other Willamette River bridges. The county has coordinated planning for the Morrison Bridge closure with the Portland Bureau of Transportation through the Get Portland Moving effort to limit the effects of construction projects in the right-of-way on the general public. The agencies are coordinating construction of the Multnomah County Central Courthouse and PBOT’s paving project on SW Main St. to minimize traffic impacts.

For more information, visit www.multco.us/bridges, or follow @MultcoBridges on Twitter.

# # #