Jasmine Block Double Tracking Underway

Saw cutting and road closure is underway along SW Montgomery adjacent to the Jasmine Block in SW downtown as work has begun on the double track work associated with completing the loop. I was on my way home from grocery shopping with my family last night when I noticed the familiar orange barrels accompanied by saw cut pavement.

SW Montgomery Construction

SW Montgomery Construction

This morning, I checked in with streetcar construction updates to learn the timeline on this work. According to the update, work should be completed by September 28th, just in time for fall term to begin at PSU with the only major headache occurring from September 15th to 21st where service will be suspended from SW Clay to the South Waterfront. Shuttles will serve this stretch while new switches are installed.

Since I live in this area, I should be able to provide some updates with photos as work progresses. Chris posted some material on this section last November which provides some critical background on why this work is occurring and just how it will look once work is completed.

10 Comments

10 Responses to Jasmine Block Double Tracking Underway

  1. billb
    August 13, 2014 at 12:08 pm Link

    In a related note, I went through the Max to shuttle bus to Max set up for track /switch repair in NE yesterday about four, and it was very well done. I know the [Sn]oregonian is ripping on it, and yes, I was not there at rush hour, but I have to say it was effective and efficient.

    • Jason McHuff
      August 13, 2014 at 11:32 pm Link

      Well, they did give up on having the Red Line go to Lloyd Center, so there weren’t as many trains that had to get into and out of there.

  2. Dwaine Dibbly
    August 14, 2014 at 3:26 am Link

    What confused me when the Jasmine block plans were originally announced is that I didn’t realize that the one-way direction will be reversed once the project is completed.

  3. captn haddock
    August 16, 2014 at 7:13 am Link

    for historical understanding, what happened to the plan to run a diagonal tracking through the Jasmine Block?

    • Chris Smith
      August 16, 2014 at 7:32 am Link

      When funding for the Oregon Sustainability Center (the intended use for that site) failed, there was no developer on the horizon who was interested in developing the lot in that configuration. PDC is trying to market the lot, and feels that having the full block intact is important.

      • Joseph E
        August 16, 2014 at 9:41 am Link

        It’s disappointing that PDC is not willing to prioritize the streetcar through this block. The diagonal routing would be slightly shorter and faster, and would reduce long-term costs due to the shorter length of track and overhead wire to maintain. While the O.S.C. plans were too expensive, they show that the block can be successfully developed with the streetcar in the middle.

        If PDC wants a few blocks worth of developable land, currently spoiled by excess transportation infrastructure, they could remove the ramps redevelop these blocks by the Morrison bridge: http://goo.gl/maps/6s9kV
        Or these blocks by the Hawthorne: http://goo.gl/maps/hszl3

        • Chris Smith
          August 16, 2014 at 10:12 am Link

          While I agree with all those sentiments (and argued for a number of them at the PSI board level), there is another practical problem.

          If the streetcar were built on the diagonal alignment before the building went up, it would be very difficult to build a building around the streetcar. Operating construction equipment around 750V catenary wires is probably a very bad idea. The other option would be to shut down the streetcar for months during construction. Since this would impact BOTH the NS and CL lines, it’s not an appetizing prospect.

          This alignment was mainly a victim of the inability to get the block developed before we needed to double-track for the benefit of closing the loop.

          • Jason McHuff
            August 16, 2014 at 7:55 pm Link

            In theory, they could create a tunnel with a roof over the wires for streetcars to go through, kind of like they do for pedestrians when there’s construction above a sidewalk.

            • Chris I
              August 20, 2014 at 7:52 am Link

              Bingo. I have seen this done in Europe. They basically use heavy-duty scaffolding to create a tunnel for the existing line. The presence of the streetcar would complicate the foundation excavation, however.

        • Dwaine Dibbly
          August 16, 2014 at 2:46 pm Link

          Good idea about removing the ramps, but not original. Google “James Beard Public market Portland”….

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