A Portland landmark will disappear on July 5 when work crews start tearing down the Corno's Building at 711 S.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to make way for the Alder Shaft, which is part of the East Side Big Pipe Project.

The former Corno's Market is familiar to generations of Portlanders because of the large, colorful signs of fruits and vegetables on its outside walls and roof. The store has been closed for five years.

Some of the signs were removed and stored by the previous owner, Walt Pelett, who owns the nearby City Liquidators stores. The rest of the signs were removed and stored by the city after it acquired the property for the project. Commissioner Sam Adams is asking the public for ideas on what to do with the city's signs.

The city Bureau of Environmental Services is in charge of the project, which will all but eliminate sewer overflow spills into the Willamette River. According to BES officials, after the demolition, workers will sort, recycle and haul away the debris. When the area is clear, they will fill the basement with clean dirt.

The work may require up to 1,000 truckloads of material leaving and coming to the site. Demolition will take about one week. Clearing the site will take another five weeks.

BES officials said that during construction pedestrians and motorists will see temporary fencing along Southeast MLK; temporary closure of sidewalks on MLK and S.E. Alder Street; and temporary closure of one southbound lane on Southeast MLK between Morrison and Alder streets.

The traffic lane on Southeast MLK will close at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Work hours will be 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. weekdays and possibly on some Saturdays.

The city plans to rent the site for five years, then return it to its owners for development and to maintain an easement on the portion of land with the manhole. The price of the easement is $830,000.

When it is completed, the East Side Big Pipe will be a six-mile, 22-foot diameter tunnel extending from Southeast 17th Avenue and McLoughlin Boulevard to Swan Island. It is the last construction project in Portland's 20-year program to control sewer overflows. The tunnel will be complete in 2011.

The total project is currently budgeted at more than $1.4 billion. The eastside portion is estimated at $464 million.

BES operates the city sewer system and administers numerous programs to manage storm water.

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