Southwest Portland

City reopens Burnside to help area businesses

City reopens Burnside to help area businesses
The street was reopened Saturday afternoon. (KATU photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Bureau of Transportation on Saturday reopened West Burnside Street to help area businesses that were hurting during the closure to repair a broken water main.

But that doesn't mean repairs are finished. PBOT says an interim fix is in place. Drivers will notice a bumpy surface on West Burnside from 5th to 3rd avenues, according to spokesman Dylan Rivera.

"West Burnside is crucial to Portland and we wanted to get it reopened as soon as possible," Rivera said.

A 24-inch cast iron water main burst early on Tuesday morning, sending water gushing into the area around Burnside and SW 4th Avenue, near the Chinatown gate. The road was originally supposed to reopen the same day, but the city said that finishing the job before Monday might even be a reach because rain made it difficult to repave the street.

On Saturday, PBOT tweeted that Burnside and 4th avenue would open to help businesses, but they stressed that drivers should go slow in the area.

The damage under the street was more extensive than city crews originally estimated, meaning they had to continue repairs into next week. Repaving can begin after crews finish ripping up the street, digging down to find damage and then replacing it all.

Crews will also have to wait for two dry days in a row before they repave the street.

The closure was problematic for business owners in the neighborhood. Warren Becker, who owns the Blue Collar Baking Company, said he lost a month’s worth of supplies when the power was cut.

Two city commissioners stopped by Thursday to try to bring Becker’s business some attention – they said it was all they could do.

Water bureau officials have not yet given a specific reason why the pipe broke.