By Lee Perlman
For the Hollywood Star, January, 2010
If the fates smile upon us, the heaviest work on Northeast Couch Street, as part of the Burnside-Couch Couplet project, should be complete by the time you read this.
According to project manager Chris Armes, base paving on the street should be completed by the new year if it is not delayed by either extreme cold, frozen rain or the like. Once this is done the street, closed to everything but local traffic for the last few months, should be open again, at least for awhile. Another layer of asphalt will be added later this year, Armes says.
In the same part of town, another project will be heating up. According to consultant Kay Dannen, the Portland Streetcar’s east-side loop extension will begin laying track beginning January 18 on Northeast Grand Avenue between Lloyd Boulevard and Oregon Street. On January 25 a second crew will commence work on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between Davis and Burnside streets. The work will ultimately cover portions of these streets plus Northeast Seventh Avenue and Broadway and Weidler streets, and Southeast Water Avenue. Crews will work on three-block segments for three to four weeks at a time during daylight hours, with some lane closures, Dannen says.
The contractors are seeking a special permit from the city Noise Review Board to work after-hours and weekends at the intersections of Northeast Weidler Street and Seventh Avenue, and Northeast Broadway and Grand Avenue, and “24/7” at the MAX light rail crossings on Northeast Holladay Street at MLK and Grand; a hearing on the request is set for 6 p.m. January 13 at 1900 S.W. Fourth Ave.
From July 6 to September 10, the Broadway Bridge will be closed to motor vehicles. The contractors hope to complete work on the notorious North Broadway-Weidler-Williams-Vancouver “box,” one of the city’s premier traffic snarls, during this time, Dannen says.
For more information or updates call (503) 823-5345 or visit keepportlandmoving.org. For information on the streetcar work specifically call (503) 478-6404 or contact gro.r1516115239actee1516115239rtsdn1516115239altro1516115239p@nen1516115239nad1516115239.