Those bumps on Lyon: the fix is coming – Hasso Hering


A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Those bumps on Lyon: the fix is coming

Written November 21st, 2018 by Hasso Hering

Looking north on Lyon Street downtown on Tuesday afternoon.

The new pavement on the Highway 20 couplet in downtown Albany has but one little flaw: Some of the manhole covers ended up way below the surface, making for a slightly bumpy ride. But they’re working on a fix.

After ODOT resurfaced Ellsworth and Lyon Streets this fall, complaints about the bumps started coming in.  This one came Oct. 13 from Russell Tripp: “Lyon and Ellsworth are nicely paved, but why can’t they level up the manholes to the pavement? Maybe it is City engineering trying their system of speed bumps.”

I’ve been meaning to ask about this and finally got around to it this week. (It’s a slow week, what with Thanksgiving coming up.)

At City Hall, Albany transportation analyst Ron Irish told me he checked with Lindsey Austin, the city inspector on the streetscape project of which the highway repaving was a part. “She has received some complaints, and referred everyone to ODOT.  It sounds like ODOT is aware of the problem and plans on having the manhole covers adjusted.”

That’s the word from the state as well. ODOT spokesman Lou Torres had to scramble for information because people working on this issue were out of the office this week. But he said: “What I have been able to find out is that we are currently working with the City of Albany and Century Link on adjusting the access cover lids. A timeline for getting the work done is in discussion. We are in the process of making the repairs.”

Note that he didn’t use the old term. He called them “access cover lids.” That’s not the only modern alternative, though.

As long ago as 1990, the New York Times reported from California: “Sacramento city officials, having found the word ‘manhole’ sexist, have now come up with a new name for those utility holes in streets. Without fanfare, the City Council adopted the term ‘maintenance hole’ this week to replace ‘manhole’ on official maps and documents. Public works officials had proposed finding a non-sexist term in jest, but Mayor Anne Rudin liked the idea and the debate quickly spread.”

Whatever you call them, it sounds as though on Lyon Street they will soon be smoothed out. Maybe that will give the City of Albany an incentive to do the same on Second Avenue between Lyon and Main. (hh)

3 responses to “Those bumps on Lyon: the fix is coming”

  1. Ted Salmons says:

    Maintenance holes? Yet again politicians spending time (read money). To be PC and address a non problem.

  2. Richard Vannice says:

    Anyone willing to take odds that, regardless of what is done, the bumps will still be there. I’m no expert by any means but it seems that when these repairs are done after the fact it is nearly impossible to get everything “smooth”. The paving crew should have noticed this when they were doing the job and addressed it then.


Cycle around town!
Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Hasso Hering.
Website Serviced by Santiam Communications
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!