GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404
1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204
The 10-million-gallon above ground steel tank atop Kelly Butte was built in 1969. Following construction, the Bureau re-planted the site with trees and shrubs.
The Portland City Council voted to move forward with the Portland Water Bureau’s plan to replace the above ground tank with a new 25-million-gallon reinforced underground reservoir.
Work began to demolish the above ground tank.
By the end of 2012, the steel storage tank was completely demolished and removed. Fencing and erosion control were installed and crews worked to excavate the tank site.
In just over a few months, the reservoir will begin to take shape with multiple concrete slab pours and wall and interior column construction. Pipes will be encased in concrete and buried, and the concrete vaults will be fully constructed.
Reservoir excavation is complete. The forming and rebar for the upcoming phased concrete pours of the floor is in process. Notice the “checker board” pattern? Adjacent panels are poured later to control shrinkage cracking.
The foundation of the meter vault for the main inlet & outlet piping has been poured & pipe is being set. In winter 2013-14, crews will tie-in to Conduit 3 in SE Powell Boulevard which will feed water to Kelly Butte Reservoir from the Bull Run watershed.
Inlet and outlet pipes that will run under the reservoir have been placed and will be encased in concrete to provide seismic stability and support for the pipes.
With invasive plants removed, Kelly Butte’s south slope will be enhanced to support wildlife and be used by migratory birds.
March 6, 2014
Underground Water Vault Excavation on SE Powell Boulevard Underway -- The water vault excavation project on SE Powell Boulevard between SE 97th Avenue and SE 100th Avenue is underway and proceeding on schedule.
Crews, managed by the Primary Contractor Hoffman Construction Company, are in process of excavating a 30-foot wide by 60-foot long space under the westbound lane in the 9700 block of SE Powell Boulevard. Shoring is being installed to provide safety for workers entering the trench.
Over the next couple months, a 23-foot wide by 40-foot long water vault will be constructed in the excavation’s footprint. Once excavation is complete, crews will construct the slab on grade for the vault, install the new connection piping and then finish constructing the vault.
Construction of the vault is anticipated to be completed in June 2014, under normal weather conditions. The water vault will house complex piping that will connect to the city’s new 25-million gallon underground reservoir atop Kelly Butte. The reservoir, scheduled for completion in 2015, is 60 percent complete.
January 25, 2014
During the late night and early morning hours on Tuesday, February 25th and Wednesday, February 26, 2014, Portland Water Bureau crews will be closing one lane of westbound traffic on SE Powell Boulevard between SE 97th Avenue and SE 100th Avenue to prepare a work zone for an upcoming water vault excavation project.
The Water Bureau encourages travelers to please use caution on SE Powell Boulevard. Be sure to watch for construction workers, be ready for sudden stops, and obey all traffic controls and flaggers. To avoid traffic delays, motorists and bicyclists should use alternate routes.
On September 5, 2012, the Portland City Council voted to move forward with the Portland Water Bureau’s plan to replace the 10-million-gallon above ground steel tank atop Kelly Butte in southeast Portland with a 25-million-gallon underground reservoir. The project will allow Portland to comply with federal rules that will lead to the three Mount Tabor open reservoirs being disconnected from the city’s water system. Total project cost is estimated at $90 million.
Kelly Butte is a forested hill near the intersection of SE Powell Boulevard and Interstate 205 freeway. The 10-million-gallon water storage tank was placed on top of Kelly Butte in 1969. The Kelly Butte Storage Improvement Project will replace the steel tank with a new buried 25 million gallon reinforced concrete reservoir. The project is being constructed by the Portland Water Bureau to meet stricter rules required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that require the city to disconnect its five open reservoirs in Mount Tabor Park by 2015 and Washington Park by 2020.
The new reservoir will be in the same general location, but will have a larger footprint, approximately 400 x 300 feet in dimension. However, the larger replacement tank will be located underground. There will be a need for additional or upgraded piping to the new reservoir.
The contract for the construction project has been awarded to Hoffman Construction Company of Oregon.
Construction of the new underground reservoir began in October 2012 and will be completed by the end of 2014. The proposed schedule is as follows:
The Portland Water Bureau is committed to reducing construction impacts to residents and businesses as much as reasonably possible during construction. As the project is being built atop Kelly Butte, the impact to the community will be largely from increased heavy truck volume on SE Powell Boulevard, SE Division Street, 122nd and 112th Avenues, and the I-205 freeway. There will also be minor sidewalk construction work on 101st Avenue north of Kelly Butte.
Construction activity will normally take place during weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. There will be no construction activities on Sundays due to the close proximity of the Central Church of the Nazarene. During the summer months, the contractor has the options to work longer hours, and Saturdays and nights, with City approval.
There will be an obvious increase in truck traffic caused by construction vehicles entering and leaving the property.
For the Kelly Butte Reservoir Project, the only legal access to the construction site is off SE Powell Boulevard, a state highway. Large volume truck traffic through the neighborhood to the north would be inconvenient to the residents. Further, there would be the major expense of building up roadway access on the north side of the butte through an environmental zone. Truck access on SE Powell Boulevard will be right turn in / right turn out.
The neighboring church and businesses may experience construction noise from machinery and large trucks working on the project site. Others may notice increased traffic noise from trucks hauling dirt or other construction related loads away from and to the site.
How Will the Site Be Restored?
This section of Kelly Butte will likely look much different when the project is complete. To accommodate the underground structure, a large amount of soil will need to be removed and later backfilled on the site, making the final elevations different. Many invasive plant species, like Himalayan blackberry, will be removed, and many native plant species will be added. Many native trees and meadow grass will be planted once the tank work is completed.
Project in the News
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.