I-84 Closure Planned For Graffiti Removal

Photo: ODOT

A five-mile stretch of Interstate 84 will be closed in both directions to rail and highway traffic overnight from 11 p.m. Saturday, July 13 to noon Sunday, July 14 for graffiti cleaning and trash removal between I-5 and I-205.

In addition to the I-84 closure in Sullivan’s Gulch, northbound Interstate 5 will be closed over the Marquam Bridge with traffic diverted onto northbound Interstate 405. Crews will take advantage of the overnight closure to carry out bridge maintenance activities. The Morrison Bridge and North Weidler Street ramps to northbound I-5 will remain open.

The coordinated effort by six agencies -- ODOT, Union Pacific Railroad, TriMet, the Portland Bureau of Transportation, Metro and Multnomah County -- will target one of the most visible parts of the Portland area and one particularly hard hit by graffiti and trash.

Upwards of 100 workers from the six agencies will join private contractors to remove trash and clean graffiti along the corridor, starting from west to east. All on-ramps leading to I-84 will be closed as well.

For real time traffic information during the closure, go to TripCheck.com. This work is weather dependent and the schedule may change.

As a detour, motorists should use I-205 or local roadsto bypass the overnight closure. Travelers should plan ahead and expect delays in the area.  

During the closure, Union Pacific may need to run a train on occasion through their corridor.  

TriMet may need a couple of hours to resume MAX service once I-84 has reopened as crews will need to reenergize the system.

You can sign up now for service alerts to arrive by email or text by going to trimet.org/emailupdates.

All highway lanes will reopen by noon Sunday July 14. MAX Blue, Green and Red Line trains will also be disrupted during the closure between the Gateway/NE 99th Ave Transit Center and NE 7th Ave to allow crews to access the right of way. Shuttle buses will serve closed stations during the disruption.

The full closure will make it safer for PBOT crews to clean the bureau's assets along the I-84 corridor. Crews plan to work west to east, cleaning assets including the Congressman Earl Blumenauer Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge, and bridges at NE 12th Avenue, NE 21st Avenue and NE 28th Avenue, and potentially bridges farther east. 

PBOT crews will close the bridges to traffic--one bridge at a time--to create a safe work zone while they use large trucks and specialized equipment such as snooper trucks, boom lifts and portable outdoor lighting, during overnight and early morning hours. PBOT will shift the traffic control signage and closures as the work moves to the next bridge overpass. 

For weeks, PBOT maintenance managers have been meeting with their counterparts at ODOT and other regional partners to make the most of the work period. More than 20 PBOT staff will work this special late night, weekend shift. 

PBOT crews will safely guide buses through the work zones on city-owned bridges, to reduce any impacts to public transit service. Pedestrians and people riding bicycles will be allowed as well. We suggest adding a few minutes to your normal travel time during this event.

We ask the traveling public to obey all traffic control signage and barricades. People riding public transit can visit trimet.org/alerts for the latest service impacts and updates.

A full closure allows crews to safely collect trash and remove graffiti without inconveniencing travelers with multiple partial closures. 

“We appreciate everyone’s patience during this 12-hour closure,” said Region 1 Manager Rian Windsheimer. “We’re grateful to collaborate with Union Pacific Railroad, Trimet, the City of Portland and others for such an extensive cleanup. This is a rare opportunity to have safe access to perform clean-up work in difficult areas and we plan to take full advantage. We look forward to working with our partners to revitalize a highly visible area in Portland.”

During the closure, ODOT crews may have the opportunity to carry out other maintenance work. While the focus will be on litter removal and graffiti cleaning, crews may be able to do electrical work and sign maintenance as well as patch pavement, clean drains and make other repairs that cannot be done without a full closure.

This scale of trash and graffiti cleanup was made possible through an infusion of funding provided by the Oregon Legislature during their 2024 session. The legislature dedicated $20 million to increase ODOT efforts to remove graffiti, clean up trash, restore campsites and protect critical infrastructure. 

Sullivan’s Gulch, named for an early farmer in the area, is the biggest transportation corridor on Portland’s east side, home to Union Pacific’s main freight rail line and TriMet’s light rail in addition to I-84. 

Source: ODOT

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