ODOT plans to hire crew to clean up Portland freeways

Multnomah County

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Help will soon be on the way to clean up the trash along Portland freeways from the homeless crisis, as the Oregon Department of Transportation has plans to hire cleanup crews.

ODOT is currently in negotiations with companies to do clean-up of trash and grafitti and is ready to spend millions.

“It’s going to require some patience. This is a major problem,” said Don Hamilton, ODOT spokesman. “This is not something that’s going to solve itself with the snap of the fingers. This is a major issue that requires so many parts of society that have to address these problems.”

Garbage is up and down Interstate 84, Interstate 5 and Interstate 205.

Through an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Portland, it’s the city’s job to relocate people from homeless camps and get them services, not ODOT’s. However, ODOT can send in cleanup crews.

“ODOT is not law enforcement,” Hamilton said. “We’re significant property owners where this problem is taking place, but still we are just property owners.”

The agency is now close to spending the two million dollars the legislature approved for trash and graffit cleanup over two years.

“Sometime this fall, we hope there will be a significant improvement in the community around in here,” Hamilton said. “There’s going to be some changes.”

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