PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - The Portland Bureau of Transportation is now offering free gravel street service to make unpaved neighborhood streets a safer and easier ride.
A total of 50 miles of Portland city streets are unpaved, and many are almost impossible to navigate with huge ruts and potholes.
Neighbors in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood say emergency and delivery vehicles have gotten stuck in the mud and the potholes. For neighborhood drivers, the roads are routinely treacherous.
It is estimated that it would cost more than $300 million to pave the 50 miles of dirt and gravel streets.
Now, PBOT is responding to the city's deteriorating streets with a free service for unpaved roads.
Neighbors still want their street paved, but say they're happy the city is providing this service now and call it an interim solution.
"This is a huge leap forward. So even if it is not perfect, it's good," said Stephenie Frederick, who lives in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood.
Some unpaved streets in SE Portland are getting graded and graveled thanks to a new service from @PBOTinfo . They still won't be paved but neighbors say it will help. #fox12oregon pic.twitter.com/VQU7i1LadZ— Marilyn Deutsch (@marilyndeutsch) January 7, 2019
"This is a fairly typical gravel street in Portland. Lots of potholes. Neighbors who live on this street - it's hard to access. We've been hearing for years from people living on these streets that they'd like us to do something about that and this Portland gravel street service is our first step to do that," said John Brady with PBOT.
The graveling and grading will be performed throughout the city's unpaved neighborhoods on a three year rotation.
The city believes this is a temporary fix until - or when - there is money to pay to pave 50 miles of the city's unpaved roads.
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