Multnomah County: Emergency repairs begin on Sauvie Island road

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 12:21 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - Multnomah County workers have started temporary emergency repair work on Northwest Reeder Road on Sauvie Island after two culverts under the road partially collapsed in January.

The county planned to wait until July to make those temporary repairs because of concerns about fish and wildlife, but officials changed their minders after the road became a parking lot last weekend, overcrowded with people on their way to the beach.

The county closed the road Sunday for safety reasons because emergency officials said they could not get their cars through the traffic. With the Fourth of July just days away, the county feared it could have another dangerous situation.

After last weekend, the county became more concerned for the safety of people on Sauvie Island. County officials notified the regulatory agencies that deal with fish and wildlife that repairs would have to be done now rather than later.

“I hear on the beach days it was a disaster out here,” said Phil Genochio who lives on Sauvie Island. He was glad to hear the county was making these emergency repairs now. “That would be good as long as it doesn’t cave in.

The repair work means that a portion of NW Reeder Rd., near the beach, will be down to one lane. Flaggers and a temporary stoplight will be managing traffic flow. The repairs should mean the county will not have to shut the road down again because of overcrowding.

“I know it affects the poor people that want to enjoy themselves on the beach,” said Genochio. “I wouldn’t want to sit in my car for an hour and a half getting out of here. It’s bad enough during the pumpkin season.”

The county said the average wait was not nearly that long and on Wednesday, most people did not find it too inconvenient.

The emergency repairs are temporary only. The road will still have to be paved and permanent repairs will not be finished until 2023. In the meantime, the county plans to open the road back up on Friday, just in time for Fourth of July weekend.