City reopens NE Kane Drive two weeks ahead of schedule

August 20, 2018

The City reopened NE Kane Drive late Sunday evening, August 19, after constructing the permanent replacement of the Kelly Creek culvert under Kane Drive. City engineers, consultants and contractors worked days, evenings and weekends to reopen the major arterial roadway for vehicular traffic a full two weeks ahead of schedule.

“During the past five weeks, getting your commutes restored to normal has been our top priority,” said Steve Fancher, Public Works Director. “We deeply appreciate the patience of all our residents, and we’re so glad to see vehicles traveling safely once more along this heavily-trafficked Gresham street.”

To get the major arterial reopened, contractors first had to excavate around 10,500 cubic yards of materials, enough to fill more than five Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Kane Drive washed out on Dec. 7, 2015, after Gresham saw nearly six inches of rainfall in a 72-hour period. Substantial debris flows in Kelly Creek rapidly blocked the culvert beneath Kane Drive, causing water levels to rise several feet above the culvert entrance and washing out the soil between the culvert and roadway, creating a major chasm approximately 140 feet long, 40 feet wide and 15 feet deep. In the aftermath of one of the most severe weather-related transportation emergencies in Gresham’s history, City officials quickly mobilized to complete a temporary repair as quickly as possible. Crews worked around the clock to reopen the road in 36 days.

The temporary repair allowed the City to plan and design the second phase of this project – a permanent culvert that will last for many decades. Installation of the temporary repair allowed the City to obtain permits and design and engineer a lasting solution, as well as to minimize the amount of time it will be closed for the final repair. Federal funds were secured for both repairs; the State of Oregon also lent their assistance to ensure delivery of the project.

While similar construction projects in the region have taken months to complete, this two-phase approach allowed the City to complete this project in just five weeks, minimizing the impact to residents and allowing traffic to flow safely for decades to come.