April 1st, 2013 | Aaron Mesh News | Posted In: City Hall, Transportation, Health

Hales Finds Money to Restore Sidewalk Project on Southeast 136th Avenue

UPDATE: Fagan will seek $3.6 million from Legislature to expand project

     
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news1_3917FINDING ASPHALT: Portland streets aren’t getting equal paving under a plan proposed by Mayor Charlie Hales. Southeast 136th Avenue won’t get its promised sidewalk. - IMAGE: ronitphoto.com

 Mayor Charlie Hales is expected to announce on Wednesday that the Portland Bureau of Transportation has restored money for a sidewalk construction project on Southeast 136th Avenue.

Sources inside PBOT tell WW that Hales has ordered interim bureau director Toby Widmer to find money for the project. Widmer is looking at several options to fund the $1.2 million sidewalk project from Southeast Holgate Boulevard to Powell Boulevard, including eliminating curbs and using money from other sidewalk projects that have come in under budget.

But the project may also expand: Rep. Shemia Fagan (D-East Portland), who has pressured Hales' office to restore the sidewalk funding, is seeking a state grant to extend the sidewalk south to Southeast Foster Road and north to Division Street.

That extension would include the spot where a 5-year-old girl was killed crossing Southeast 136th Avenue in February.

Morgan Maynard-Cook was struck and killed by a car one week after PBOT announced it was cutting the sidewalk project, and increased pressure on the mayor's office to rescind the cuts.

Hales' office announced this afternoon it is holding a press conference on 136th Avenue on Wednesday, but did not specify what it would include.

UPDATE, 4:30 pm: Rep. Shemia Fagan (D-East Portland) confirms to WW she is seeking $3.6 million from the Oregon capital construction budget to extend the sidewalk along Southeast 136th Avenue from Holgate Boulevard south to Foster Road, and from Powell Boulevard north to Division Street.

"It's the 21st century," Fagan says. "A little girl should have a safe place to cross the street in front of her house. She wasn't just a Portlander, she was an Oregonian."

Fagan says she's spoken with House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) to request the funding.

"This is the only thing I'm going to be asking them for," she says.

 
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