ODOT discusses Outer Powell Transportation Safety Project

Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 9:38 AM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A new project plans to improve traffic safety on one of Portland’s high-crash corridors.

The stretch that runs from I-205 to the Portland city limits, also known as the Outer Wall, is one of Portland’s top 30 crash sites. Even though it is in the city, this part of Powell is designated State Highway 26, so it is under the authority of the Oregon Department of Transportation.

ODOT met the East Portland Chamber of Commerce Wednesday virtually to discuss the Outer Powell Transportation Safety Project.

FOX 12 has covered some of the crashes in the corridor in the past including one last November where a pedestrian was killed.

ODOT said a series of safety improvements, including new sidewalks, traffic signals and safety lights will reduce the frequency and severity of the crashes. The plan also includes new bike lanes and a center turn lanes for vehicles.

SEE ALSO: Bicyclists demand safety updates to deadly Powell Blvd intersection

FOX 12 spoke with people who drive along Southeast Powell. They said because it is both a highway and a neighborhood street, it can be very dangerous.

“You have to be cautious sometimes because you never know how fast people are going to be driving,” said a man.

SEE ALSO: ‘Making Powell Boulevard Safer for All’: Community gathers at Cleveland HS forum following deadly crash

The first phase of the safety project is already completed in the area between 122nd and 136th Avenues. Pre-construction is set to begin in late Spring and will take place in two areas: on Powell between 99th and 122nd Avenues and between 136th and 174th Avenues.

Those improvements are expected to take about five years to complete. ODOT said it will keep the public up to date on any possible traffic impacts.