September 6, 2013

Portland's Baxter Boulevard to reopen on Monday

A 1.4-mile stretch of the boulevard has been closed for the last eight months while the city installed a new sewer and storm water system.

By Randy Billings
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — Baxter Boulevard will reopen to motorists at 7 a.m. on Monday, the city said in a press release Friday.

A roughly 1.4-mile stretch of Baxter Boulevard has been closed for the last eight months while the city installed a new sewer and storm water system that would reduce the amount of sewage discharged into Back Cove during rain events.

Two, million-gallon tanks were installed along the boulevard, so storm water and sewage can be stored during rainstorms and pumped to the East End Treatment Plant after the rain stops. The previous system discharged the polluted water into the cove.

The city is under a federal mandate to improve its storm water and sewer systems.

Under federal order between 1993 and 2010, the City Council-funded projects reduced sewer overflow volumes by 42 percent from 720 million gallons to 420 million gallons annually. During the same period the city spent close to $100 million on the projects.

More recently, the city adopted a plan calling for the investment of $170 million in additional projects that will reduce sewer overflow volumes to 87 million gallons annually – an 88 percent reduction since 1993. This plan is set to begin in 2014.

Meanwhile, the City Council’s Transportation, Energy and Sustainability Committee is expected to take up a proposal to close Baxter Boulevard to traffic on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., so it can be used for recreation.

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