GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404
1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204
Reservoir 2 will be completely covered with topsoil and repopulated with native plants. (July 2014 photo)
The concrete floor of the reservoir is 30 inches thick and the 26 inch thick concrete roof is supported by 540 columns. (July 2014 photo)
The Visitor's Center showcases large doors that can enclose the space for classes or meetings, or be left open for public access to the visual displays. (July 2014 photo)
To minimize the visual impact of the 5,000 square foot Maintenance Building, part of the structure was built into the ground, giving it a low profile. (July 2014 photo)
As part of stormwater management, the parking areas are water permeable, allowing rainwater to pass through the asphalt to an underlying stone bed. Water is then absorbed by underlying soil. (July 2014 photo)
The House was strategically built on the hill to the southwest of the parking area to provide the caretaker with exceptional views over the entire park to enhance security. (December 2013 photo)
As part of the new reservoir project, many of the park’s trails have been improved, realigned, or reconnected in order to limit environmental impacts, reduce user conflicts, improve accessibility, and reduce fall-line impacts and steep grades.
2014 PROJECT UPDATES
October 6, 2014
Paving Update -- On Tuesday, October 7 and Wednesday, October 8 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the main entry road into Powell Butte Nature Park will be closed to all public traffic in order to allow crews to complete the final paving of the roadway. When the street restoration work is complete on Thursday, October 9, the main road on Southeast 162nd Avenue and SE Powell Boulevard will reopen for park use.
August 21, 2014
Trail Update -- All trails are currently open. Installation of trail directional sign posts along the trails is about complete. Please note that trails NOT OPEN TO BIKES include the Wildhorse, Hawthorn, Fernwood, and Dogwood trails. Trails NOT OPEN TO HORSES include the Hawthorn, Fernwood, Forest Edge and Dogwood trails.
July 25, 2014
Trail Update -- All trails are currently open. Over the next two weeks, the trail contractor will be installing trail directional sign posts along the trails. Please use caution.
July 9, 2014
Trail Update -- The trail contractor for the Portland Water Bureau is working on the trails in the meadow west of the Summit Lane loop this week, installing additional drainage rock to improve access during the winter. Repairs on the south portion of the Dogwood Trail is scheduled to start at the end of the week or early next week. The Park’s SE 148th Avenue entrance will be used as access to transport in repair equipment.
June 27, 2014
Underground Reservoir & Restoration Efforts -- Construction of the second 50-million underground reservoir is nearing completion. The contractor is finishing work to seal the fine hairline cracks that are a normal part of reservoir construction with such huge amounts of concrete. Once finished, the reservoir will be covered with layers of soil and eventually native grasses.
Visitor Center & Main Park Parking Lot Now Open -- The new publicly-required Visitor Center features a solar roof, full-wall mural of Portland that identifies the city’s water and parks systems. Also, there are educational display, restrooms, a water pipe exhibits, habitat markers, and displays honoring Native-American tribes. Nearby is a stone natural area amphitheater and a Benson Bubbler. The temporary alternate parking locations will remain open until further notice.
Trail Closures & Delays -- As part of the project, many of the park’s nearly 10 miles of trails have been improved, realigned, or reconnected in order to limit environmental impacts, reduce user conflicts, improve accessibility, and reduce fall-line impacts and steep grades. Some work is still required and a few trails have been renamed to eliminate confusion. See the newly updated temporary trail map.
June 10, 2014
Powell Butte Nature Park Trail Work Update -- Park users are reminded to use caution and obey any trail closure signs during construction. The public will be notified when the trails reopen. Signs will be posted at trailheads to advise park users.
Access the Temporary Trail Map for additional trail information.
May 30, 2014
Powell Butte Nature Park Road and Parking Lot Open for Weekend Use Only Starting Saturday, May 31 -- Powell Butte Nature Park’s main entry road to the upper parking lot will be open to park visitors for weekend use only starting Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1. The lot will be again open on June 7 and 8, and June 14 and 15. The weekday closure are necessary to allow construction crews to complete the contract-required rebuilding and repaving of the roadway into the park.
May 16, 2014
Water Project Construction to Impact SE 162nd Avenue at SE Division Street -- As part of the new water reservoir project in Powell Butte Nature Park, starting on Monday, May 19, 2014, the contractor for the Portland Water Bureau will install a large underground pipe and valve vault in SE 162nd Avenue, immediately north of SE Division Street.
Portland must have sufficient drinking water storage capacity to meet the anticipated growth in demand for water and for fighting fires. The City must also offset the loss of its five open reservoirs (due to federal LT2 regulations). The three Mount Tabor Reservoirs will be disconnected from the City's water system in 2015; the Washington Park Reservoirs disconnected by 2020. Total project cost is estimated at $138 million.
It is for these reasons, the Portland Water Bureau is advancing its plans for a second underground 50-million gallon (MG) reservoir at Powell Butte Nature Park. The Water Bureau's long-range water storage plan includes the construction of four 50-MG reservoirs and a smaller 25-MG on Powell Butte, which was purchased by the City in 1925 for this purpose. The first underground reservoir was built in 1979-1980 and became operational in 1981.
The Portland Water Bureau conducted an extensive 13-year public process, from 1995 to 2008 to review issues related to Powell Butte Nature Park and the region's water supply system. The process included a formal Stakeholders Advisory Committee composed of interests outside of City government, including neighborhood associations, environmental organizations, recreational interests, schools, and outside water districts.
The Powell Butte Master Plan, started in 1995, identifies the City's plans to build a second reservoir by the year 2013. This plan was approved in the Powell Butte Conditional Use Master Plan (CUMP) in 2003.
As required under the CUMP -- at the public's request -- the reservoir project includes replacing the existing maintenance shed and restroom building with a new interpretive center and restroom. A new, permanent single-family residence as the Caretaker's House must be built.
The CUMP also calls for a separate storage and maintenance facility to be built due to the expanded maintenance needs of both the Water Bureau and Portland Parks & Recreation. Additional improvements include enhancements to the park's main parking lot, a new natural grass-setting outdoor teaching area (amphitheater) that will be built to better support the educational programs in the park, and a new trail plan to reduce areas of concerns for hikers, bicyclists and equestrians. Funding for the park improvements is included as part of the Water Bureau's Powell Butte Reservoir 2 Project.
The Water Bureau and Portland Parks and Recreation established a Project Advisory Committee (PAC), a group of citizens who helped formulate criteria that was used by building design and landscape architects to develop park facility designs. PAC members represented the three local neighborhood associations, nearby homeowners, and park user interest groups, such as the Friends of Powell Butte Nature Park, the Audubon Society, and Northwest Trails, Inc. The group began meeting in October 2009, and completed their work in May 2010.
Construction will occur in two phases:
Phase 1: The first phase was the excavation of the reservoir site began in July 2009 and was completed in May 2010. During the first phase, hundreds of tons of soil were removed and transported off the butte. An estimated 100 truck trips per day made for a total of approximately 30,000 trips to and from Powell Butte. Some of the soil is being kept on the construction site to reuse on the site once the reservoir is constructed.
Phase 2: In phase 2, hundreds of workers are constructing the buried concrete reservoir, pipes, vaults, emergency overflow structure, and a number of required park improvements. The second phase began in May 2011, with the project scheduled for completion in late 2013.
Road and Parking Lot Closures
During construction, the Powell Butte Nature Park's main parking lot and the entrance road from SE 162nd Ave. will need to be closed for extended periods of time to allow for the construction of the new park facilities. When the main lot in the park is not accessible, you can use the parking lot at the nearby Rose Bowling Center, SE 164th Ave. and SE Powell Blvd. The Water Bureau has renewed its lease with the business to use some of its parking spaces.
Also available is the temporary parking lot located on SE Center Street near SE 144th Avenue at the Water Bureau’s Vivian pump station which is now open for public use. The temporary parking lot on SE Holgate -- east of SE 136th Avenue on former Gate’s Property -- will be open in late fall 2011.
Once reservoir construction starts, the Water Bureau will open the two new temporary parking lots located on SE Center Street at SE 144th Ave. and at the trailhead at SE Holgate near SE 136th Ave. "Road Closed" signs will be posted when the main parking lot is unavailable. Notices also will be posted at the park entrances and the main parking lot kiosk.
Most Trails will be Affected Periodically during Construction
Portland Water Bureau and Portland Parks & Recreation will post the trail route changes on their respective websites and on kiosks located at each park entrance.
The Portland Water Bureau and Portland Parks & Recreations staff will continue to keep the public informed about the project through our websites. In addition, there will be project news and park notices posted in the community newspapers and on kiosk bulletin boards stationed at each of the park's official entrances. The Water Bureau also introduced WaterWorks, a monthly electronic news bulletin, with project highlights and features. If you would like to receive it, please email Tim Hall, Public Information, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about this project, contact Tim Hall, Public Information, at 503-823-6926 or 503-381-0056 (cell).
Thank you for your patience and cooperation as the Portland Water Bureau works to improve the city’s century old water system.
Powell Butte Nature Park's previous improvements
Background information at Powell Butte
Powell Buttee Reservoir #2 - Phase 2 Design
History of orchards and pastures
LU 10-169463 CUMS EN AD
Sign up for e-newsletter
FAQs about Powell Butte