More stories from April's issue of THE BEE!


Police, stolen car, search, Westmoreland, Sellwood, Southeast Portland, Oregon, Bybee Bridge, MAX
In the 2 p.m. hour of March 16 there was a heavy police presence in the vicinity of the Bybee Bridge along McLoughlin Boulevard, on both sides of the highway, as police sought two car-theft suspects – with the police presence extending two miles from S.E. Nehalem to S.E. Harold. (Photo by Eric Norberg)

Police flood Westmoreland looking for stolen-car suspects

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

When the driver of a reported-stolen car failed to yield the right of way, on Saturday afternoon, March 16, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Central Precinct officers went on the hunt for the vehicle.

When officers spotted the car near 2100 S.E. Nehalem Street, a block west of the south end of Westmoreland Park, its two occupants took off running eastward, past Sckavone Stadium and across S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard – and either continued east into the Eastmoreland Golf Course, or north in the brush along the east side of S.E. McLoughlin.


Search, stolen car, Westmoreland, Harold Street, Portland, Oregon
When the suspects were tracked by a K-9 team to a point on S.E. McLoughlin at Reedway, officers were stationed nearby to watch for them. This one was standing at the intersection of S.E. 20th Avenue and Harold Street, from where she could monitor Ellis and Reedway to the south, and the Union Pacific access street to the east. (Photo by Eric Norberg)

Soon the Bybee Bridge overpass was closed by officers looking for the suspects in the area; Tri-Met cooperated by stopping the MAX Orange Line service temporarily, until officers cleared the Bybee Station.

“After the two men ran from the car, a PPB K-9 Team tracked them to near S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard and Reedway,” said PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Kevin Allen. Officers were stationed in that area as part of the neighborhood-long perimeter.

“Due to the large area around the golf course, a large number of officers were called in to the area,” Allen told THE BEE. “Although officers were not immediately able to locate the suspects, some stayed in the area to continue investigating, and officers will be alerted for future patrols.” Anyone with information to contribute should call “Police Non-Emergency” and report it, at 503/823-3333.



Sellwood Speed Bumps, traffic control, Tacoma Street, cut thru traffic, Sellwood, Southeast Portland, Scott Kelly, Oregon
Along with many Sellwood residents, SMILE Transportation Committee Chair Scott Kelly (center) studied the maps showing where “traffic calming” speed bumps are to be installed. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Speed bumps planned to ‘calm’ Sellwood Bridge traffic

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

From the moment the “open house” door officially opened on March 4 at SMILE Station, the conversations about cut-through traffic to and from the Sellwood Bridge using neighborhood streets were lively – as participants discussed the city’s proposal to add speed bumps in several places in Sellwood to address the issue.

The Sellwood Moreland Improvement League’s (SMILE) Transportation Committee Chair, Scott Kelly, greeted the arrivals as the room filled with neighbors: “At this open house we’re inviting people to look at the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) ‘Tacoma Street Neighborhood Traffic Management Project’, intended to address some of the safety aspects of cut-through traffic.

Newlands was too occupied with discussions with the attendees to chat with THE BEE at the time, but PBOT Project Manager Rich Newlands later provided us with written information regarding the $100,000 project – a plan that would put speed bumps on six local streets, both to the north and the south of Tacoma Street, to discourage non-local traffic from cutting around Tacoma traffic – or make the situation safer if it does.

“Neighbors have not expressed a consensus on how to best reduce cut-through traffic in the neighborhood; what would be good for one street might not be good for the next one,” Kelly said, while neighbors looked at poster-board exhibits, and a large street map of the affected area laid out on a table.

“So, this is not about reducing cut-through traffic, necessarily; instead, the hope for the project is to slow down vehicle drivers as they travel our residential streets,” Kelly told THE BEE. “I don’t think that PBOT can really cut down the traffic because it’s not possible to cut off all traffic coming into the neighborhood.”

In “Phase I” of this project, speed bumps will be added to S.E. Miller, Nehalem, Umatilla and Linn Streets, from 6th Avenue to 11th Avenue; and also along S.E. 9th and 11th Avenues from Lexington south to Linn street.

“Why speed bumps?” was the question posed by many of the 45 participants who attended the open house.

After looking over the materials and talking with PBOT staff, Chris Norman, a neighbor at S.E. Umatilla and 13th Avenue, questioned aloud, “I understand speed bumps can reduce speed; but where is the data that shows the efficacy that they redirect traffic, and if they do, by how much?”

Kirsten Leising, who said she lives on S.E. Miller Street between 13th and 11th Avenues commented, “I wish speed bumps were not the only solution; they’re really loud, and they don’t always slow traffic down. I’m voting for perhaps putting in more one-way streets, and more stop signs.”

But, the current project is focused on speed bumps, which will be installed “Summer/Fall 2019”. About six months after they go in, PBOT will collect data to assess changes in traffic conditions and patterns in the area. If deemed successful, PBOT will go ahead planning more speed bumps for area streets. And if not – other solutions may be considered.



Chavez Community Garden, 39th Avenue, Woodstock, water, fundraising, Southeast Portland, Oregon
The Cesar Chavez Community Garden in Woodstock will remain a garden, after overcoming several obstacles during the winter. Gardeners there say they love the social, educational, and economic benefits of the large space – generously provided by a neighbor. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

Portland Parks to manage Cesar Chavez Community Garden

By ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF
For THE BEE

The November issue of THE BEE reported that the 10,000-square-foot community garden on Cesar Chavez Boulevard (formerly S.E. 39th) at S.E. Ellis Street was in trouble.  Gardeners had been informed that there were two problems.

First, the nonprofit “Grow Portland”, which had managed the garden for the past six years, would no longer be able to do so, since the organization had elected henceforth to work solely with schools. Their hope was that Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R) would take over the management of the fifty garden plots.

Second, a generous neighbor who for years had allowed the garden to connect a water hose in the garden to his water service, is no longer able to maintain that arrangement. Consequently, the gardeners were informed that if the land were to continue as a garden, a water meter would need to be installed, at the price of $8,788.

Gardeners at the site waited nervously during December to hear if Portland Parks & Recreation would agree to take over management of the land plot. Finally word was communicated to Susan Schrepping, the woman who owns the property, that yes – the Parks Bureau would manage the garden in the future.

Then the community gardeners, who live in several Inner Southeast neighborhoods, waited warily in January to hear if the needed $8,788 had been raised to fund the water meter.  David Beller, Executive Director of Grow Portland, had agreed to stay involved long enough to oversee the fundraising. At the end of January, Beller announced happily that the $8,788 had finally been raised from small donations and grants.

However, everyone involved soon learned that a THIRD obstacle had arisen. In late February, in the process of reviewing the request to install a new water meter for the garden, the Portland Water Bureau decided that a water main extension would be needed, at a cost $24,219.

Hopes for continuing the garden were dimmed by this new bombshell.

However, all the parties involved – Susan Schrepping, who had purchased the land from a farmer and his family twenty-five years ago and had promised the late farmer’s wife that she (Schrepping) would keep the land in cultivation as a garden; gardeners, including immigrant families, for whom the garden is very valuable; and PP&R, the new managers of the garden – were soon greatly relieved by a new e-mail received on March 13th from PP&R’s Laura Niemi, the Bureau’s Coordinator of Community Gardens:

“Upon closer physical inspection they [the Water Bureau] determined an extension is not needed. The water service for the Cesar Chavez Community Garden will be installed at a cost of $8,788, which is equal to the amount raised by Grow Portland.”

The happy result of resolving all three obstacles is that this land that is extremely fertile due to decades of farming will remain, for now, a PP&R community garden on Cesar Chavez Boulevard.

Inquiries can be directed to Laura Niemi at 503/823-1612 or e-mailed to: Laura.Niemi@portlandoregon.gov

Those interested in getting a plot at the Cesar Chavez Community Garden can pursue the request online – https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/52116 – or by calling Ms. Niemi.



Hosford Middle School, lockdown, naked man, mental case, Southeast Portland, Oregon
This man, 40 year-old Jonathan David Messare, faces numerous charges – but, for now, he’s confined to a hospital for observation. (MCDC booking photo)

Armed, naked man provokes lockdown at Hosford Middle School

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Hosford Middle School was “locked down” for a time on Wednesday afternoon, March 6, after a number of people called the 9-1-1 Center to report that a man near the school was yelling, swinging a hatchet – and stripping off his clothing.

Responding Central Precinct officers, including Enhanced Crisis Intervention Team officers, arrived – and confirmed that, indeed, an agitated and now-naked man was in the grassy baseball field just south of the school building.

“The subject appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance; and, although he was not injured, he was taken to an area hospital for evaluation, due to his intoxication,” reported a Portland Police spokesperson.

After the hospital medical exam, the subject – identified as 40 year-old Jonathan David Messare – was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 12:17 a.m. on March 7. His charges included Assault 2, Assaulting a Public Safety Officer, Attempted Assault on a Public Safety Officer, Resisting Arrest, Criminal Mischief 1, and Disorderly Conduct 2.

At his arraignment later that day in Multnomah County Circuit Court, the District Attorney filed a probable-cause affidavit that Messare had been yelling that he’d killed his wife and child, as police arrived.

According to the court document, Messare had been armed with a hatchet, bamboo poles, a knife, and a dog leash with a metal carabiner attached, while he shouted expletives and dared officers stop him.

Messare eventually dropped his weapons and charged at officers, who were then able to take him into custody, the affidavit states. During the ensuing tussle, the suspect cut a PPB sergeant with a small knife. “The sergeant was treated and released for the non-life threatening injury,” remarked a PPB spokesperson. 

While Messare was in court, the PPB Domestic Violence Reduction Unit and the Central Neighborhood Response Team executed the search warrant in the 2900 block of S.E. Division Street.

While it did not appear that Messare had actually killed anyone there, officers came across and seized an AR15 automatic firearm, a shotgun, a semi-automatic handgun, and a .38 revolver, along with ammunition and tactical gear.

Additional charges of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (4 counts) and Violation of a Restraining Order (4 counts) were added to Messare’s original charges.

Messare had originally been jailed in lieu of posting $20,000 combined bail, but MCDC records show that the he was subsequently ordered lodged in a hospital for observation.



Benson Bubbler, water fountain, stolen, replaced, Foster Road, Southeast, Portland, Oregon
Minutes after the replacement Benson Bubbler fountain was installed and turned on, life-long area resident Jacob Dean stopped for a drink on S.E. Foster Road. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Stolen Foster Road ‘Benson Bubbler’ replaced

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Many of Portland’s Neighborhood Business Districts outside the downtown area don’t have a bronze "Benson Bubbler" water drinking fountain; the Foster-Powell area did – until thieves made off with one on S.E. Foster Road on December 6.

Portland Water Bureau (PWB) sleuths so far have failed to locate the boosted bubbler, so  it was replaced on Tuesday morning, March 5.

“The stolen bubbler was not returned; and we do not yet have any solid leads on the theft,” PWB Public Information Officer Jaymee Cuti told THE BEE the day it was replaced. But they are still looking for it, and the case remains open.

“You can imagine how difficult it is to replace something that’s so unique, but one of the primary concerns is the cost of installation and repair,” Cuti remarked, adding that for security reasons, the Bureau prefers not to release the dollar value of a bubbler.

“This one is a refurbished bubbler, one that’s been pressed into the correct shape at its base,” Cuti explained. “As with all of our bubblers and infrastructure, our hope is that it will live out its natural life, and continue to bring happiness (and hydration) to the community!”



car into house, Errol Heights, Harney Drive, Southeast, Portland, Oregon
40-year-old Oleg Fedosov faces several charges – including felonies – after crashing at an Errol Heights house. (MCDC booking photo)

Impaired driver crashes near Harney Street house

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

A car ran off the road in the 4900 block of S.E. Harney Drive in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood just after 2:30 a.m. on Monday morning, February 18 – awakening nearby residents, who came out to see the cause of the commotion.

The original dispatch to police officers said that the car had “crashed into a house”, but none of the homes, situated across the street from the former White Stag offices just north of Johnson Creek Boulevard, were damaged in the incident.

“Officers contacted the driver of the vehicle, who was not injured, and determined that he was impaired by intoxicants,” reported a police spokesperson.

While a wrecker towed his vehicle, 40-year-old Oleg Fedosov was driven to the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC), where he was booked at 4:31 a.m. that morning on charges of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII), Reckless Driving, Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, and two counts of Reckless Endangerment.

After his arraignment later that day, the Multnomah County Court judge released Fedosov on his own recognizance, pending trial.



Sellwood Gap, Springwater Trail, Southeast Portland, Oregon
PP&R Project Manager George Lozovoy tells about the abut half-mile segment of the “Springwater Trail Gap” under construction, between S.E. Umatilla Street and 13th Avenue. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

One of Springwater Trail’s ‘Sellwood Gaps’ to be paved

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

After years of planning and discussion, a project to pave one of two “Sellwood Gap” sections of the Springwater Corridor Trail began in March.

Community members learned about both “gap” segments at two meetings, one held on February 18, and the other February 27, both of them at Sellwood’s SMILE Station.

At the first meeting, SMILE Transportation Committee Chair Scott Kelly hosted Metro’s parks and trail planner Mel Huie, and Portland Parks & Recreation’s (PP&R) Maya Agarwal.

“This evening, Huie and Agarwal are talking about the last segment of the unimproved section of the trail,” Kelly announced. “Tonight’s meeting is to discuss what is in the works for the last piece of the gap, now in the preliminary engineering stage; this evening, primarily focusing on the intersection at S.E. 17th Avenue at Ochoco Street, not the project closer to the Sellwood Bridge.”

As the meeting got underway, twenty five people had arrived to learn more about this part of the project.

“Now, after 30 years of working on this project, we’re entering the final phases of improving the entire Springwater Corridor Trail,” Huie began. “Thanks to cooperation of Richard Samuels of Oregon Pacific Railroad, the tracks in the area have been moved, allowing for the trail to be built alongside, in the right of way. PP&R and Metro are working to get federal funds for this segment of the project.

“Most of the tracks of been pushed to the south side; plans are to flatten out the berm that raises up north, pave it, and then put in a dividing fence, much like what was done along the Springwater Corridor Trail in Oaks Bottom,” Huie explained.

However, there may never be a direct transition from the trail leading west from the trail’s “Three Bridges” section at McLoughlin Boulevard to somehow parallel S.E. Ochoco Street, and cross 17th Avenue, heading toward Oaks Bottom, he said.

“The Oregon Department of Transportation controls the railroad crossing,” he explained. “Officials just don’t want bicycles crossing the street at this intersection; their plan is to have them jog north a block to S.E. Lynn Street, cross 17th Avenue, then go west for a couple blocks before rejoining the trail.”

Until this segment is completed, riders and walkers will take an on-street detour that starts at S.E. Umatilla and heads east, and then south on 19th Avenue, connecting with the “Three Bridges Section” and the rest of the Springwater Corridor Trail.

Second-to-last ‘gap’ paving began in March
At the February 27 meeting, PP&R Project Manager George Lozovoy said the Bureau had begun construction on the “S.E. Umatilla to 13th Avenue Trail Project”.

“It will provide an off-street, rail-with-trail, shared-use 12-foot pervious asphalt path parallel to the Oregon Pacific Railroad mainline track,” Lozovoy said about this 2,700-foot-long segment of the trail.

“One purpose of this meeting is to talk about the construction impacts of the project; for example, there will be flagging when concrete trucks are delivering concrete and asphalt trucks are paving the trail,” Lozovoy told THE BEE as 25 people were seated and the meeting got underway.

“Instead of having gravel or rocks that quickly become overgrown, there’ll be a one foot paved shoulder on each side of the trail,” Lozovoy began.

Edith Mirante, a neighbor whose residential property is separated from the trail and railroad line by a Metro-owned greenway near the intersection of S.E. 9th Avenue and Linn Street, arose to protest cutting trees to complete the trail in that area.

“These are wonderful, mature trees,” she said.

Lozovoy explained that they needed to be removed in “order to provide a safe and functional trail.”

Another neighbor questioned the wisdom of adding “sidewalk curb cuts” along this segment of the trail – because there are no sidewalks in the area, and several of the streets are unimproved.

The curb cuts at the primarily entering and exiting locations, Lozovoy responded. “And, installing them is required by the code; this project is treated like any other developer in any area where they’re making improvements,” he said. “The sidewalk curb cuts will only be on the trail portion.”

To learn more about the project, the cutting of trees, street signage changes, and the project map, go online – https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/78440



Big chalk, stick of chalk, world record, Reed College, students, Southeast Portland, Oregon
Is it a water heater? No, it’s a colossal stick of chalk – shown off by Reed College senior Trevor Schlack, and created by a team of dedicated students. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Potential ‘World’s Largest Chalk’ made at Reed College

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

It’s not yet officially the “World’s Largest Stick of Chalk” in the Guinness Book of World Records – but this gigantic chalk marker, created at Reed College, might soon make the grade.

Fabricating this massive chalk stick were Reed College Science Majors Lorenzo Barrar, Patrick Bedard, and Alex King – according to the fourth member of the team, Trevor Schlack, who showed off their work to THE BEE in the basement of the college’s Prexy Building.

“During my freshman year, myself and friends made an oversized piece of chalk – about six inches long, and three inches thick – as a gift to a visiting professor,” said Schlack, a soon-to-graduate physics senior.

To beat another non-official attempt, and possibly to make it into the Guinness World Records, their new chalk needed to be more than 5.09551 feet tall and 1.9685 feet wide, he said. (Converting from the original measurements in meters.)

Using a six-foot-tall, two-foot-wide “sonotube” concrete fiber mold, the quartet enlisted as many as 30 Reed students to help continuously mix and pour batches of plaster, to complete the bucket-by-bucket pour within 45 minutes – after which the plaster would begin to set.

“We’ve estimated that it weighs between 1,300 and 1,400 pounds, from density measurements,” Schlack reported, “and its official dimensions are 6 feet and a quarter inch tall, by 24 inches in diameter.”

The group has documented their really big stick of chalk, adhering to the stringent Guinness listing criteria, and hope to learn if they have set a world record before the end of the school year in May.

What will become of this half-ton stick of sidewalk chalk? “We’re not sure; but, I did hear that an art group on campus was interested in using it for drawing – but this might not be feasible, given its weight,” said Schlack.



Harney Street, two car crash, furniture, Brentwood Darlington, Southeast Portland, Oregon
After being smacked broadside a Chevy Blazer, this Honda careened off the street and into this mailbox and a fence. The Honda’s driver had rented the vehicle to move the chairs – which now awaited pickup, on the street. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Driver hospitalized, mailbox mowed down, in two-car Harney Street mishap

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

A two-vehicle crash in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood ended with a man taken to the hospital, a mailbox mowed down, and a split-rail fence shattered – at 10:59 a.m. on February 26, at S.E. Harney Street and 76th Place.

A silver Honda Odyssey was apparently broadsided by a Red Chevy Blazer – which still had the Honda’s trim stuck in its bumper.

An officer at the scene said he didn’t know the extent of the Honda Driver’s injuries, but, after being checked out by paramedics, the man was taken to a local hospital “as a precaution, for medical observation”.

The officer added, with some irony, “The Honda’s driver said he’d rented it to haul some furniture, because his own vehicle had just been destroyed in a hit-and-run accident.”



chess for success, Winterhaven School, Southeast Portland, Oregon
Otto, a student at Winterhaven School in Brooklyn, carefully considered his next move, during this Chess of Success regional tournament. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Recent wild winter delayed – but didn’t stop – kids’ chess

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Because they’re not looking at a video or a smartphone screen, it may be difficult for anyone today to imagine rows of youngsters, just sitting at tables facing one another, quietly focusing on a game of chess.

But that’s the way it was all day along at Harrison Park Elementary School in East Portland on February 23 – as elementary and middle school students in the area competed in the Chess for Success Region 7 Tournament.

A forecast snowstorm earlier in the month delayed the competition, but it was rescheduled in time for the champions of these regional games to go on to the Chess for Success State Championships held in early March.

“Chess for Success is a Portland-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to help children succeed in school, and in life, through learning to play chess,” explained their Program Operations Director Richard Crockett, the Director of the day’s competition.

“Today is the region’s elementary tournament, with about 65 youngsters playing; and the middle school tournament, where 120 students came to compete,” Crockett told THE BEE. “Most our players belong to Chess for Success sponsored after-school clubs; but, others just loved learning the game of chess on their own, and are welcome to come and compete.”

Not just a recreational after-school club, Chess for Success can provide educational support, at no cost to families, which has been proven to help close the “achievement gap” for economically-disadvantaged and minority youth, Crockett pointed out.

“Through our scores of volunteer chess mentors, students also learn life skills – such as to sit down, be quiet, ignore everything going on around them, focus, and then think,” Crockett remarked.

As another match began, the cafetorium fell silent as players focused on the game in front of them, and nothing else at all.

Learn more about Chess for Success by going online – https://www.chessforsuccess.org



Water hydrant, Eastmoreland, replace, Southeast Portland, Oregon
After discovering that a new signpost from the Portland Bureau of Transportation was blocking one of their old fire hydrants, Portland Water Bureau workers moved the connection and installed a new hydrant, near Holy Family Catholic Church in Eastmoreland. (The old hydrant is on the ground, next to the new one.) (Photo by David F. Ashton)

1898-dated hydrant moved and replaced in Eastmoreland

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

At the corner of S.E. Cesar E Chavez Boulevard (formerly 39th Avenue) and Flavel Drive, the Portland Water Bureau presented the Eastmoreland neighborhood with a brand new water hydrant. It’s installed near Holy Family Catholic Church.

On the sunny-but-cold day of Saturday, March 2, PWB replaced an 1898 fire hydrant. “We’re not sure exactly when it was installed, but the date stamped on the hydrant is ‘1898’,’ the Water Bureau supervisor told THE BEE.

The new hydrant is placed about three feet west of the previous location – because the City of Portland Water Bureau’s hydrant’s main outlet had been blocked by – a new City of Portland Bureau of Transpiration steel signpost!

While installing the updated hydrant, the supervisor pointed out they were also installing a new “isolating gate” (valve) in the main line, allowing water to be turned off at that point, instead  having to shut down a wider area of water service in the event of an emergency.



rear ender, 52nd Avenue, Brentwood Darlington, southeast Portland, Oregon
After it rear-ended another vehicle on S.E. 52nd Avenue, the airbags on this Volkswagen Jetta went off. There were no injuries in the crash, but both vehicles had to be towed away. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

52nd Street rear-ender disables two cars in Brentwood-Darlington

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Traffic cresting the top of the hill on S.E. 52nd Avenue between Flavel Street and Flavel Drive came to a halt on March 1, a little past 5 p.m., as drivers came upon a two-car smashup.

According to witnesses, both vehicles had been northbound on 52nd Avenue between Flavel Drive and Malden Street. The Subaru Outback had come to a stop, but the driver of a Volkswagen Jetta apparently didn’t notice – and smacked into the car ahead hard enough to deploy the airbags in both cars.

Although the crash was dispatched to police and fire as an injury accident, an officer at the scene later said no one needed medical transport; and since there were no injuries, there were no citations issued. The officer aided the drivers in exchanging information.



water main break, 82nd Avenue, Southeazst, Portland, Oregon
A Portland Water Bureau worker winces at being showered with cold Bull Run water while investigating the water main break on S.E. 82nd – which resembled a water feature more than a plumbing problem for several hours during the repair. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Another water main ruptures under 82nd Avenue

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Water bubbling up through pavement at S.E. 82nd Avenue and Ellis Street, a block south of Foster Road in the Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood, was a troubling sign of problems deep below, for responding Portland Water Bureau (PWB) crews on Thursday evening, February 21.

This water main rupture was mere feet south of a previous major break on December 15, 2016.

To assess and repair the damaged water pipe, crews shut down one northbound lane and one southbound lane of S.E. 82nd Avenue for several hours – unlike that 2016 rupture, which closed down the entire highway for more than day.

Bundled up against the wind, as the temperature dropped to near freezing, the PWB workers located and then excavated the pipe break just after 7 p.m. that evening.

Water sprayed out of the mid-street excavation as workers slid in steel trenching safety plates.

“This was due to a vertical break of a 1912 pipe,” confirmed PWB Public Information Officer Jaymee Cuti to THE BEE. “That’s the most straightforward [type] to repair, in most cases.”

On the other hand, lateral failures, Cuti explained – such as the one on the same block two years ago – are more difficult to repair, because they require a larger excavation, complete removal of the old pipe, and installing a new pipe, before restoring the roadway. “We cut out and replaced 50 feet of pipe during the 2016 break,” she pointed out.

For a vertical break, crews apply a “repair clamp” around the break to make repairs, rather than having to replace the pipe.

About ten service addresses lost water pressure during the overnight repair.

The next morning, most motorists driving over repair site weren’t aware of the work done overnight; the patch was actually smoother than a great deal of the regular pavement on this State Highway.






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