SW Moody Project
SW Moody Avenue serves as the main access point between downtown Portland and the central city’s largest remaining supply of vacant land, located in the rapidly redeveloping South Waterfront District. Elevating the roadway 14 feet above the original grade, the project created three traffic lanes, dual streetcar tracks, pedestrian walkways and a cycle track. In addition–because the roadway is one of only a few places where utilities can access the district– an extensive upgrade of franchise utilities along with water, sewer and stormwater treatment were put in place to support future development.
An innovative design was required to meet district development goals, site constraints and schedule requirements. Contaminated soils in the surrounding parcels from previous industrial use made redevelopment economically infeasible due to the cost of handling and disposing of excavated material. The elevated roadway allows surrounding development to be constructed with “below-ground” parking above contaminated soils and building frontages raised to match the roadway’s new elevation. Additionally, by using low-density cellular/foam concrete fill–which weighs about one-third of standard structural fill–the weight of the roadway was reduced, thereby avoiding impacts to underground utilities and protecting against differential settlement of the finish grade elements.
The $51.2 million project was partly funded by a $23.2 million federal TIGER grant which mandated an 18-month schedule for design and construction. Meeting this aggressive timeline, SW Moody Avenue opened three and one-half months early in October 2011 and will support the creation of an estimated 4,980 long-term jobs in the immediate area, the first of which is the $295 million Oregon University System’s Collaborative Life Sciences Building with 500,000 square feet of instructional and research space.