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Winter weather doesn't slow MAX construction in Brooklyn

by: RITA A. LEONARD - Demolition at S.E. 14th and Gideon Street resulted in relocation of multiple tenants and the Genealogical Forum. Nearby, crews continue extensive sewer work.Portland Milwaukie Light Rail progress is shifting temporarily north of the Brooklyn neighborhood, but work continues at intervals along the entire Inner Southeast MAX line. The TriMet facility at 4012 S.E. 17th Avenue will undergo interior remodeling to become TriMet’s Operations Center. Some staff will transfer downtown to the Administration Building.

Some underground utility and sewer construction continues in Brooklyn, and demolition and leveling of buildings is proceeding along the light rail rights-of-way. Preparations are under way for a new phase of the Powell Boulevard bridge crossing.

TriMet Community Affairs Representative Jennifer Koozer, a Sellwood resident, told THE BEE, “Crews continue extensive sewer construction at the dead-end of S.E. Gideon Street. Multiple tenants and the Genealogical Forum in the adjacent building have moved out, but building demolition along Gideon provided recent training opportunities for the Portland Fire Bureau.

“Additional buildings are scheduled for demolition in February. The contractor is trying to reuse old lumber from the site.”

The nearby pedestrian footbridge over Union Pacific Railroad tracks that leads to the Brooklyn Skateboard Spot is also scheduled for future removal. At a January 17th meeting, Susan Pearce from the Hosford-Abernethy Neighborhood Association expressed concern over pedestrian blockages in the area of S.E. 11th, 12th, and Division Street. “We really need footbridge access to Abernethy School from Brooklyn,” she asserted.

Site preparation progresses on TriMet properties along S.E. 17th Avenue between Holgate and Powell, with input requested from developers and the Brooklyn community. At a January 23rd Brooklyn Action Corps neighborhood association meeting, Garden Coordinator Lee Kamrass noted that plans continue for the Brooklyn Community Rail Garden & Orchard to be sited at the corner of S.E. 16th and Pershing Street.

At the same BAC meeting, Koozer advised that civil construction on streets, sidewalks, and trackway is scheduled soon on the east side of S.E. 17th south to Rhone Street. She also explained, “Demolition of retaining walls along Powell Boulevard between S.E. 14th and 20th Avenues is tentatively scheduled for March.

“This will include lane closures and some nighttime work to minimize traffic impacts. Crews are scheduled to begin drilled shafts for the new bridge structures in early February. The bridge is scheduled to open in the fall.”