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City of Portland secures funding to replace park lamp posts removed due to safety issues

Portland Parks & Recreation said it has the funding needed to purchase replacement light poles for all 12 parks impacted by safety-related pole removals.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Editor's note: The video above originally aired on March 17. 2023.

The lights will stay on in Portland parks. The city of Portland has received funding to replace hundreds of light poles that are being removed from parks due to safety concerns.

Last month, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) announced its Light Pole Safety Project. The bureau said it inspected 1,000 lamp posts, some more than 100 years old. Of those lamp posts, PP&R said 243 of them across 12 parks, mainly in Southeast Portland, were found to be potentially structurally hazardous and needed to be removed. At the time, PP&R said it would begin removing the poles, but didn't have all the funding needed to replace them.

On Tuesday, the bureau said it has now secured enough funding to purchase the new light poles. PP&R requested $2 million of Metro's parks and nature bond, which Metro approved. PP&R and Commissioner Dan Ryan also have $2 million of potential federal earmarks available for the project. 

All 12 parks will receive replacement lamp poles "as quickly as possible," PP&R said in a news release. The bureau estimates it will take a total of six months to obtain and deliver them.

Light poles have been removed at Irving Park, Mt. Scott Park, Sellwood Park and Sellwood Riverfront Park. PP&R said the new poles will be installed once they are available. In the meantime, the city of Portland plans to explore temporary lighting in those four parks. After those poles have been replaced, PP&R said it will announce its plan for removing and replacing poles in the other affected parks.

Commissioner Ryan is expected to present a new emergency ordinance to City Council on April 5. The revised plan includes a phased approach to light pole removal along with a replacement timeline.

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