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  • 21 Aug 2014

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Council to consider Portland Streetcar realignment

Portland's City Council will consider Wednesday realigning a portion of the westside Portland Streetcar line near Portland State University.

A measure to accept a $1.5 million grant from the Portland Development Commission to design the new alignment is on the Feb. 19 agenda. The funds would help design a two-track alignment along parts of Southwest Fourth Avenue and Montgomery Street where there is only one track.

According to an ordinance submitted by Portland Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick, the current single track caused delays in the westside streetcar system. The delays would also affect the affect the eastside system when the Willamette River transit bridge is finishing and the Portland Streetcar Loop is completed.

The track is located where the city and PSU had once considered building the Oregon Sustainability Center. The realignment project was originally expected to take place when that project was built. The Oregon Department of Transportation previously approved $1.9 million in ConnectOregon III funds for some of that work. But the project was scrapped because of concerns about cost and funding.

If the council accepts the PDC grant, construction is expected to begin this summer.

The council is considering the project at a time when Novick is considering revenue options for street maintenance and sidewalk construction. ODOT and PDC funds are not used for such work, however.