Oregon Health and Science University is hoping to cut its traffic to Marquam Hill as Sam Jackson Park Road is closed for the next several weeks beginning Monday morning.
OHSU officials said that about 40 percent of the traffic to the hospital and other buildings on the hill travels on the road. The city of Portland plans to close Sam Jackson Park Road for six to eight weeks to repair a dangerous hillside and rebuild the road.
Engineers hired by the city believe that heavy spring rains have caused earth movement to accelerate and unless measures are taken to address the situation, the shifting hillside could cause the road to become unusable.
The project, which will cost between $500,000 and $750,000, requires the removal and replacement of the 90-year-old, 100-foot-long retaining wall supporting the road and replacing 2,000 cubic yards of saturated soil. The project will also rebuild the adjacent roadway and install new guardrail. Project costs will be paid with safety and maintenance dollars from the city's general transportation revenue.
A detour will direct traffic to take Southwest Terwilliger Boulevard to Campus Drive. Traffic at the Campus Drive intersection will have flaggers. Ambulance and emergency vehicle traffic will be given priority through the intersection.
Traffic cameras will be set up so people can check congestion on Marquam Hill roads before driving to the campus.
OHSU officials are asking people to take public transportation or ride the city's tram from the South Waterfront campus. About 30,000 vehicles travel to and from Marquam Hill each day. OHSU hopes to cut that number by about 6,000 vehicles during the construction.
More information about the project can be found at www.samjacksonroad.com and www.ohsu.edu/directions .