O'Bryant Square in downtown Portland closes due to unsafe underg - KPTV - FOX 12

O'Bryant Square in downtown Portland closes due to unsafe underground SmartPark

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Image: KPTV Image: KPTV
Image: KPTV Image: KPTV

O’ Bryant Square in downtown Portland has been shut down over safety issues with its underground SmartPark Garage.

On Monday, Portland Parks and Recreation and the Portland Bureau of Transportation came to the decision to close the park, located at the corner of Southwest Washington Avenue and Southwest 9th Avenue, based on the advice of engineers about the structure of the parking garage.

The 100-space garage has been temporarily closed since September 2017 because of safety concerns, but those concerns did not affect the park. Now, officials have decided to close both the garage and the park.

"After hearing the expert opinions of engineers who have studied this facility, we feel it is necessary to close off access to O'Bryant Square and the O'Bryant Square SmartPark Garage," PBOT Director Leah Treat and PP&R Director Mike Abbate said in a joint statement. "This closure will ensure the public is safe while we consider long-term options."

Crews with Pacific Fence and Wire started installing a fence Monday to surround the park and keep the public safely away. According to PBOT and PP&R, installation should be complete in the next few days.

Some O'Bryant Square visitors were disappointed in the decision.

“It’s kind of a bummer," Tevin Roberts told FOX 12. "It’s a really good spot for a park considering the food carts over there and all. Where else are you going to sit and eat your lunch?” 

However, others thought it was a good idea.

“It is kind of dangerous. There’s a lot of situations that happen over there that aren’t the safest, so it’s probably good overall for the city,” Hillary Humphrey, a manager of a nearby food cart, said.

O'Bryant Square will remain fenced off until the underground parking garage is determined to be structurally sound, according to PBOT and PP&R.

PP&R said they are working on finding alternate locations for two public event permit-holders and the Square's occasional food cart vendor.

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