Friday, November 17, 2006

Good news and Bad on Bertha Court

The good news is that the Bertha Court wall has been mended. On Oct. 30 I noted that the embankment retaining wall was coming apart in two places and that I had reported its condition to Bill Long, maintenance supervisor for the Portland Department of Transportation.

I confess I was skeptical that the work would be done so quickly and without another call.

Now the second call will come from me—to thank Long for his department's prompt response. I'm also curious exactly when the work was done and whether PDOT could determine why concrete retaining wall blocks had fallen out of the wall and onto the sidewalk in the first place.

The bad news is that utility crews are now sinking holes into the new sidewalk and installing still more poles on the street. This despite our trying to get wires and other aerial clutter undergrounded around the new Watershed housing complex. Note the new pole in the sidewalk in the distance and, in the foreground, note the plywood covering where the next pole will go and narrow the pedestrian passage.

Right now, if you look at the corner of Bertha Court and Capitol Highway, you might think you are seeing double because utility crews have installed a new pole three feet from the old one. Money spent on pole installation could have been applied to undergrounding, estimated to cost about $60,000 for the new project. We are still trying to get the City's attention about this one.

For comparison's sake, look at this streetscape from the Pearl District.Of course the City made sure that utilities were undergrounded there. Why not in the Hillsdale Town Center?