Columbia Slough (improved) – Portland OR

City:
Portland, OR

Site Type:
Infrastructure and Utilities, Flood and Erosion Control

New Deal Agencies:
Work Relief Programs, Civil Works Administration (CWA), State Emergency Relief Administration (SERA)

Started:
1934

Completed:
1935

Quality of Information:
Minimal

Marked:
No

Site Survival:
Partially Extant

Description

From late December 1934 through early spring 1935, the State Emergency Relief Administration (SERA) funded improvements to the Columbia Slough that involved raising and leveling a dike on the slough’s channel approximately 1.5 miles east of Faloma station. While improving the Columbia Slough dike, it provided work to approximately 190 men for 70 days as part of a work relief program.

The City’s project description notes the following need: “Dredging operations on this locality had deposited many thousands of yards of excavated material on the banks of the slough. This material was continually sluffing back into the channel. The project consisted of clearing and grubbing both slopes, raising the dike to a uniform elevation of 33.01 feet and widening the top of the dike to 16 feet.”

The improvement was labor intensive, giving men in need of employment an opportunity to earn income on the public works project. They excavated material from the water channel and channel’s banks with shovels and wheelbarrows to shape a slope of 6:1 on the dike.

The archives notation on the photograph of the men at work indicates that the Civil Works Administration (CWA) as the labor fund used to employ workers while documenting the work as a SERA approved project.

Source notes

"Men Digging on side of Columbia Slough Channel," City of Portland Archive Photograph - January 28, 1935. https://efiles.portlandoregon.gov/record/3898939

"SERA Project No. 26-B8-258 Leveling Dike - Columbia Slough Channel." City of Portland Archives. Efiles - SERA Project No. 26-B8-258 Leveling Dike - Columbia Slough Channel (AD/14364) (portlandoregon.gov)

Site originally submitted by Judith T Kenny on December 28, 2022.

Location Info


2220 N Marine Drive
Portland, OR 97217

Location notes: SERA project description refers to the location as 1.5 miles east of Faloma Station, which is south of 2220 N Marine Drive.

Coordinates: 45.58920191221554, -122.64234257384535

Site Details

Federal CostLocal CostTotal CostSite #s
$56,108 $59,950 $116,058 The City of Portland Archives provides estimates for the SERA Project No. 26-B8-258. The federal cost shown above relates to the amount identified as the Labor SERA fund plus SERA funds for equipment. The total does not conform to the estimated project costs of $131,978, however.

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