Otak Survey Team Helps Deliver Better Bus Service from Portland to Gresham
Since 2017, Otak has been working with TriMet on the Division Street Transit Project that, when completed, will bring the first high-capacity bus service to the metro area. Replacing and enhancing one of the region’s most popular transit lines, the Line 2-Division, the new bus line will improve service along Division Street from Downtown Portland to the City of Gresham, help keep traffic moving, and support an increasing ridership into the future.
TriMet originally contracted with Otak in 2017 to determine pre-design mapping and right of way needs. Then in January 2019, Trimet issued a formal RFP for right-of-way surveying, which Otak competed for and won. Otak and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) partner, 1-Alliance, performed a right of way and centerline resolution survey for 14 miles of the corridor, from inner SE Portland to Gresham. This involved the review of hundreds of deeds, surveys, and plats to resolve the location of the centerline of SE Division and the abutting plats and right of way lines. It also included the establishment of more than 100 survey control points and the recovery of more than 400 centerline monuments and right of way corners.
Under the leadership of Project Manager Jon Yamashita, the survey team has been working with the project’s design team to create right-of-way and temporary easement acquisition documents. “We stake out many of the acquisition areas so the landowners can see the impact of these on their property. Ultimately, we will set new property corners at the right of way acquisition locations, replace any property corners destroyed by the construction if they still represent a property corner, and prepare and file a pre-construction record of survey.”
Work on the transit line began in March of 2019 and has continued steadily since. In 2020, TriMet awarded the project’s general contractor contract to Raimore Construction, a certified DBE with a 20-year work history with TriMet.
The current Line 2-Division accounts for more than 10,000 daily rides between Downtown Portland and Gresham. As population and businesses along SE Division Street have grown, impacts on traffic, including public transit, have also increased. The new high-capacity bus line will deliver faster, easier and more reliable service, resolving high-ridership challenges such as crowded buses, full buses passing riders waiting at stops, and traffic congestion behind buses making frequent stops to pick up riders.
When completed, the 15-mile Division Transit Project will provide:
- longer, three-door buses with room for 60% more riders
- bus stops that may include amenities such as weather protection
- multiple-door boarding for quicker stops
- transit signal priority to get riders to their destinations faster
- stations placed to meet the greatest rider demand
- improved travel times and transit connections
Together, these improvements will reduce travel times up to 20%, with buses running every 12 minutes and even more often during rush hour.
The Division Street Transit Project, which is on track to begin delivering service in 2022, will also create new jobs and bring economic benefits to the region. The project is expected to create more than 1,400 jobs, including 650 construction jobs, and more than 780 indirect and induced jobs. Additionally, more than $137.7 million in added economic value is estimated to be created in the corridor. As Jon Yamashita attests, “it is exciting and gratifying to have the opportunity to work on a project of this significance for the region.”