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Frequently Asked Questions

When it’s finished, this project will help you get around outer SE Powell more safely. But construction will bring temporary inconveniences like traffic delays, noise and detours. In some cases, changes will need to be made to driveways or the area where property meets the road.

If you live, work or own property on Powell Boulevard between SE 122nd and SE 136th Avenues, your driveway or frontage may need changes. If changes are needed, an ODOT team member will contact you.

The project is in the early stages of design and the extent of impacts during construction is still unknown. The project team will continue to update this website and communicate with the public as more information becomes available.

Construction on Powell Boulevard improvements from SE 122nd to SE 136th Avenues is anticipated to start in early 2019 and last about two years.

From 2014 to 2016, ODOT conducted planning, environmental, and initial design work for the four-mile stretch of Powell Boulevard from east of I-205 from approximately SE 99th Avenue to the Portland/Gresham city limits at SE 176th Avenue. In fall 2015, the state Legislature approved $17 million to design and construct the SE 122nd to SE 136th Avenue section of Powell (which is why this project is underway!). ODOT is dedicated to pursuing more funding opportunities so the entire corridor can receive these safety improvements.

Prior to the planning and environmental phase, a preliminary study was performed as a joint effort between ODOT and the Portland Bureau of Transportation. From this study, the 2010-2013 Outer Powell Boulevard Conceptual Design Plan was developed.

Fatal and serious injury collisions affect the lives of many Oregonians every year. In fact, since 2003 the intersection at Powell Boulevard and SE 122nd Avenue has been one of the State’s top 5 percent sites for the number and severity of crashes. This is why the section of Powell Boulevard from SE 122nd Avenue and SE 136th Avenue has been prioritized for roadway safety improvements. Sidewalks, dedicated bike facilities, cross walks and center turn lanes have been identified to help significantly reduce the number and severity of collisions in this area.

ODOT is leading the Outer Powell Transportation Safety Project with support from a consultant team led by HDR Engineering. A Community Advisory Group and other technical and policy committees met throughout the planning and environmental phase to guide the project. The Community Advisory Group will continue to meet and serve as community liaisons. Also, public meetings and community activities will continue to be held. Updates will be posted to this website as the project progresses. Stay tuned for project updates and ways to be involved.

The 2013 Outer Powell Safety Improvements Project was an $8 million project to help improve safety on the corridor immediately. These improvements have been completed:

  • Widening the road’s shoulders for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Adding a raised bumpy strip along the edge of the vehicle lanes — known as rumble strips — to warn drivers if they cross into the shoulder.
  • Adding 64 curb cuts at intersections to provide better access for pedestrians, wheelchairs and strollers.
  • Installing new pedestrian crosswalks with rapid-flash beacons at Southeast 119th, 141st and 156th Avenue intersections with Powell.
  • Adding new sensors at all eight main intersections on Outer Powell that detect when someone is running a red light, which triggers a delay in green lights for the cross traffic and helps avoid T-boning collisions.
  • Adding sensors at those eight intersections that make it easier for police to know when people run a red light, and flag them down to issue tickets.
  • Adding four signs that flash motorists’ speed, two in each direction.

ODOT also invested significant funding for a Transportation Safety Initiative along Outer Powell: “Slow Down, Don’t Go Around” consisting of billboard signs, window clings and lawn signs. Funding was provided by ODOT to collaborate with the Portland Police Bureau, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police to provide safety and work zone enforcement before, during and after the project was complete.

  • ODOT installed two traffic separators at SE 122nd and Powell and re-signed and configured parking on the south side of SE Powell from SE 123rd to SE 125th to prevent parked cars from blocking the areas designated for bicyclists and pedestrians.
  • A new pedestrian crosswalk with rapid-flash beacon was installed at the SE 168th Avenue intersection with Powell.

Making sure the public gets the information they need and has the opportunity to provide input and ask questions is an important aspect of this project. Continued outreach through public open houses, email and post mail notifications, targeted community activities and information through this website will be provided throughout the project.

Activities so far have included:

  • Fifteen interviews with individuals and organizations that work with people who speak Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Spanish and other languages to help inform and guide our public engagement with these populations to ensure we are involving everyone in this project.
  • Seven focus groups with faith-based and social service organizations working along and near Outer Powell.
  • Individual Outer Powell Community Walks spoken in Chinese, Russian, and Spanish, Vietnamese, and English.
  • An Outer Powell Safety Project Community Advisory Group, representing diverse organizations and interests has been established. There have been seven group meetings.
  • Hosted three open house events.
  • Hosted a community bike ride.
  • Had an information booth at community events including ‘Powellhurst-Gilbert National Night Out’ and ‘Festival of Nations’ in outer east Portland.
  • Visited over 60 businesses between SE 99th Avenue and SE 174th providing information about the project.
  • Conducted interviews with 30 TriMet Route #9 bus users along Powell Boulevard.

Video Translation:

Do you have a question or comment?

Contact us

Address: Susan Hanson, ODOT Community Affairs
123 NW Flanders Street
Portland, OR 97209
Tel: 503-731-3490
Email: info@outerpowellsafety.org

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© 2014 Oregon Department of Transportation.