Portland takeover, $185M upgrades to 82nd Avenue starts 2022

Multnomah County

The state currently owns the major eastside throughway; $185 million in improvements are slated.

COURTESY PHOTO: PBOT – Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty speaks during a press conference along 82nd Avenue on June 29.

The Portland Tribune and Pamplin Media Group’s papers are a KOIN 6 News media partner

PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — The Oregon Department of Transportation and the Portland Bureau of Transportation will settle the agreement to transfer 82nd Avenue from state to city jurisdiction in early 2022, according to ODOT spokesman Don Hamilton.

The two agencies will finalize the transfer in an intergovernmental agreement by January.

In June, ODOT and PBOT announced funding plans for a “safer 82nd Avenue.” The June 29 announcement lists $80 million in state funding from Oregon House Bill 5006, $70 million from ODOT and $35 million from PBOT that will make up the $185 million estimated cost of bringing “82nd Avenue to a state of good repair and basic safety.”

The $80 million in state funds ultimately flows from federal dollars delivered to Oregon via the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan Act.

“This historic state investment will make it possible for the state and PBOT to begin making the transformational changes the community has been calling for on 82nd Avenue for decades,” said Jo Ann Hardesty, Portland’s transportation commissioner.

Before ODOT gives jurisdiction to the state, Hamilton said, ODOT will ensure that 82nd Avenue is safe and in good condition. Hamilton said ODOT already has projects ongoing along 82nd Avenue, and additional projects will include safety features like rapid flashing beacon systems for pedestrian crossing. Upgrades will take place between Clatsop Street and Killingsworth Street, he said.

“Eighty-second Avenue is now this very multicultural thoroughfare,” Hamilton said. “It’s the busiest north-south road through the east side.”

PBOT spokesman John Brady said now that the state Legislature has passed HB 5006 and secured the funding, PBOT has begun working on designing and planning the upcoming changes. The bill awaits only Gov. Kate Brown’s signature.

“This long-awaited investment will transform 82nd Avenue from a dividing line in the city to a roadway that brings communities together,” said State Rep. Khanh Pham, D-SE Portland, who also secured a $225,000 transportation justice advocacy grant for the nonprofit Oregon Walks to spend on 82nd.

The $185 million funding will be used for upgraded signals, lighting, accessible ramps, pavement and stormwater improvements, according to the press release, and Portlanders will start seeing more improvements in the next 12 to 24 months.

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