This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 5, 2010 1:38 PM. The previous post in this blog was Moyer's hole -- the perfect solution. The next post in this blog is Bumper sticker, anyone?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Direct appeal

Spotted on a light pole in the Beaumont-Wilshire neighborhood this morning:

Comments (6)

There are a whole lot of folks in the Ashcreek, Multnomah and Maplewood Neighborhoods who, in connection with yet anoyher raping of Multnomah Boulevard by BES, are wondering the same thing. They are also wondering about where Saltzman has gone on that issue, too. Both of those Commissioners live in SW PDX.

About 10 years ago BDS put out very detailed request for bids with detailed specuifications for a high pressure sewer line from a pumping station in the area of SW Oleson and SW Garden Home, north and east along Multnomah Boulevard and down to a bigger station in the park along the river near SW Macadam. A contractor bid. The contract was let. The contract called for a particular kind of steel pipe with detailed pressure specs, corrosion resistance, couplings system and a 50 plus year useful life.

Fast forward a few months, contractor whines to BES, "The steel pipe went up in price and contractor can't do the job and make what it expected to because the steel price increase would cut into profits. But not to worry, City! If you just approve a change order allowing us to use a plastic pipe instead, we can make just as much as we would have if we knew what we were doing when we bid in the first place.

"Yeah, but is the plastic pipe any good, will it last as long?" asks BES.

"Sure", says the contractor, "Don't worry, even though the manufacturer only guarantees the plastic pipe for 2 years and the plastic pipe has never been used in this application anywhere before, we know it will last 50 years. Why, we have an opinion from our paid consultant which says so, how could you doubt that, its from an 'independent' third party?"

"Oh, thats different", says BES, "since your paid consultant says the pipe that the manufacturer will only guarantee for two years will actually last 50 years just like steel pipe, go ahead and substitute plastic pipe and you can make the same amount of money you had planned upon".

Project completes after almost a year a of extreme traffic disruption. Pipe fails at the joints within three years, leaks sewage underground up and down Multnomah Boulevard.

BES says "Whoops. Thats too bad. We'll just go ahead and dig it up and replace it with steel like we planned on in the first place. Its only another $40 million in ratepayer fees. And we can get the pipe manufacturer to pay for it."

Pipe manufacturer says" Whoa there BES. Our guarantee says two years. Its been more than two years. It was never intended for the use you guys and your contractor put it to, and what 50 year suitability are you talking about. WE never said 50 years. Don't you still have the phone number and address of your contractor and its consultant who gave you the 50 years line?"

Much gnashing of teeth. Incredible anger in the Ashcreek , Maplewood and Multnomah neighborhoods in which the pipe runs.

City eventually sues contractor and maybe consultant. Settles for maybe $ 0.50 on the dollar. Activist in the Ashcreek neighborhood (not me, wrong neighborhood) still real curious, files Public Records Act request for documents , is looking for what happened to city engineering type who agreed to this plan, and what analysis engineering type went through. City can't find any records, all were "misplaced", but tells curious citizen not to worry, that nobody at BES was disciplined or lost job over decision to substitute pipe with 2 year service in place of specified pipe with 50 year service life.

Fast forward to April 28, 2010, our benighted City Council votes 5 - 0, including Fritz and Saltzman, for a
$ 275,000 payment to Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation District out in Washington County as remediation for the inconvenience to be suffered this summer and fall, and suffered 8 - 9 years ago, as result of construction in the area, where they habe a facility at Oleson and Garden Home.

Folks in local area neighborhoods in city (Ashcreek, Maplewood and Multnomah), have been asking for last two years while the planning for this fix of the prior farce was going on, for installation of sidewalk on the portion of Multnomah Boulevard to be dug up, as this is a high speed arterial (not a local residential street, not a neighborhood feeder, not a connector, but a full blown arterial in the same functional class as say, SE 82nd, according to PBOT.

Per city, no way we sidewalk that arterial. No BES money ever builds sidewalks (bike lanes, sure, but not sidewalks.)

Now, BES has spent millions and millions in the neighborhoods in theinner east side in connection with the Big Pipe project, to date, in remediation, building sidewalks in those neighborhoods.

So lets see, a Chicago (or Jersey) style construction contract and change order to preserve the contractor's profit margin; missing documents; a payment to a Washington County political entity for inconvenience, but no consideration for the actual neighborhoods affected twice in 10 years by really bad construction; and while figuratively giving the finger to the west side residential neighborhoods, Council spends millions in east side neighborhoods for the inconvenience of Big Pipe construction.

Yeah, Amanda, where are you? And where's Saltzman.

Nonny Mouse, I live in one of those neighborhoods and have for a long time. The only sidewalks the city walks to build around here must be paid for by a LID according to the talking head bureaucrats. My neighborhood association still cannot understand why the LID proposal went down in flames when put up to vote. It's for the children, how could people not pay?

So while we taxpayers of SW (and the rest of the city) can finance that flipping tram for the business known as OHSU, we have to pay for sidewalks on our arterials - Multnomah, Vermont, Shattuck, etc. out of special fees. And my house still bears an LID from 30 years ago when it was built to pay for street lights. But I doubt anyone on the Eastside gets bill for streetlights in their property taxes.

As to documents getting "lost".... ha! there's an 19 minute gap in the tape, just ask Rose Mary and Tricky.

Great post, Nonny Mouse. It's sad that the Council voted to let Sam take $20M in sewer/water fees for bike improvments, but then always claim there isn't any money for sidewalks, especially along this important arterial that connects many neighborhoods. I'm surprised in this second go-around that the street won't be widen another 12 ft to create two very wide bike lanes.

I use Multnomah Blvd. frequently and many times see handicap people in their motorized chairs moving along next to vehicles going 50mph. Sam and Council priorities are misconstrued and we're getting tired of it.

I was at the meeting in Multnomah where private engineers( residents) said the pipe would not hold up and they were ignored. Why the hell were those city employees not fired and why in the hell is the commissioner then in charge not held responsible. Why in the hell is there no one held to account for not performing their job. I am a federal employee and I would have been fired in a heart beat

It's the Portland way.

b -

Why? Why? Why?

Because most people don't pay attention.

Look at the votes Saltzman got in his re election run.

I hope you signed both Adams recall petitions.

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