Urban rivers with a history of industrial use can exhibit spatial and temporal variations in contaminant concentrations that may significantly affect risk evaluations and even the assessment of remediation efforts. Concentrations of 15 biologically available priority pollutant polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were measured over five years along 18.5 miles of the lower Willamette River using passive sampling devices and HPLC. The study area includes the Portland Harbor Superfund megasite with several PAH sources including remediation operations for coal tar at RM 6.3 west and an additional Superfund site, McCormick and Baxter, at RM 7 east consisting largely of creosote contamination. Study results show that organoclay capping at the McCormick and Baxter Superfund Site reduced PAHs from a precap average of 440 +/- 422 ng/L to 8 +/- 3 ng/L postcapping. Results also reveal that dredging of submerged coal tar nearly tripled nearby freely dissolved PAH concentrations. For apportioning sources, fluoranthene/pyrene and phenanthrene/anthracene diagnostic ratios from passive sampling devices were established for creosote and coal tar contamination and compared to published sediment values.