PORTLAND, Ore. – During KATU’s investigation into a road being ripped up seemingly for no reason near Powell Butte, someone who lives there pointed out another possible waste – freshly painted lines on a stretch of 162nd Avenue that was clearly marked to be torn up by construction crews in the near future.
The Portland Water Bureau is working on a water vault under the street at Southeast 162nd and Division.
Residents have been warned for weeks that it was going to disrupt traffic patterns, but nobody told the city street painters, and two weeks ago fresh stripes were laid down on 162nd by crews working for the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
“In terms of this particular crew, they were on their routine route to paint that street, and they are on a routine route to paint every street at least once a year,” said transportation spokeswoman Diane Dulken.
There was no coordination to wait and repaint the road after the work was finished.
According to the water bureau, it costs about $2 a foot to repaint all the lines.
“We will send a crew back and repaint that if that needs to be done,” Dulken said. “The water bureau or anybody who actually cuts the road – they must restore that roadway back to the way that they found it.”
The city admits that this lack of coordination is a big problem for drivers as well as for you, the taxpayers. In fact, this inefficiency is so big it got the attention of Mayor Charlie Hales.
“We would like to see one cut to the road, with multiple projects going on at the same time, if we can do that, rather than many projects over a longer period of time,” said Dulken.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation was granted $250,000 by the mayor to develop software that will coordinate road projects throughout the city.
They hope that when one agency like the water bureau digs up the street to fix a pipe, the Bureau of Transportation or the utilities will use that opportunity to fix what they have there as well.
This would mean fewer construction zones and smarter spending. PBOT thinks this investment will pay off in the long run.
“As far as how much it is, it’s designed to save taxpayers a lot of money and to save the public in terms of time and disruption that happens to our roads,” said Dulken.
The director of PBOT, Leah Treat, brought the issue up after she saw the confusion on city streets. She’s used software like this in her former job in Chicago. Treat has been the PBOT director for over a year.
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