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Lombard Paving

Well, anyone who knows me, has probably heard me comment about the state of the roads in NoPo. I love my North Portland community, and want only the best for it, but sometimes it feels like we’re put on the back burner. Road repair has always felt that way for me.

So, after all of my complaining, I decided to actually do something about it and write to someone about it. First I thought that it was a city thing and twittered Sam Adams about it. He told me that Lombard was an ODOT road and that he suggested that I contact them.

I found this nifty little feedback form on the ODOT site where you can send in your thoughts to the state. Glad that they have this – it shows a real commitment to listening to citizen comments. So, I wrote a little letter to them outlining my feelings about the state of Lombard between St Johns and I5, and never really expected to hear much back. I expected it to go into a little box where they check-marked the number of citizen complaints.

Well, count me wrong. Today I received an email back from Bob Walker at ODOT:

Thank you for your comments concerning the pavement condition on N.E. Lombard between the St. Johns Bridge and I-5.

The pavement in several areas of Lombard certainly does need repair. What is needed is a full width grinding out of the existing asphalt and placing back a new layer.

To do this would require several million dollars and unfortunately there is no such large project slated for Lombard in the near future. The section of Lombard between the St. Johns Bridge and I-5 is classified as a Urban Minor Arterial and has a much lower level of daily trips compared to other parts of the roadway system. As such, it is a lower priority for funding.

Our regular maintenance funds don’t allow for large scale projects. Last year ODOT North Portland Maintenance paved four areas on Lombard that we felt were the worst.

These areas were N.E. Fortune to Montieth, Greenwich to Interstate Ave., Polk to Alma and Portsmouth to Olin at a cost of $108,000.

If ODOT North Portland’s Maintenance can stay on track with its 2010 operating budget, we hope to repave another two or three of the worst areas this summer.

I wish I had better news on the future of Lombard Ave. but the hard fact is maintenance sections just do not have the funding available to do all the work that is needed.

Again thank you for your interest in the State Transportation system.

Bob Walker, District 2B Manager (Interim)
Oregon Department of Transportation

I was happy to get the letter.

That being said, I also know that the state has a large pot of money that they distribute around the state. I remember hearing a while back that a big chunk of the recent economic stimulus money was going to go to widen a highway out by Sun River. My first thought was of course about why they were more deserving than my beloved NoPo community? Isn’t Sun River a resort community? You get my feelings of inequity.

Well, I can only hope that we get some more of the pot to take care of Lombard. Maybe if we’re the squeaky wheel we can get more attention. Please drop your comments to ODOT here. If you’re polite, I bet that at very least you’ll get a letter from Bob too.

Categories: politics, Portland
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