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.
Heavy equipment and crews continue excavation work at the site. Erosion control management is ongoing. Traffic on SE Powell Boulevard continues to move smoothly.
With invasive plants removed, Kelly Butte’s south slope will be enhanced to support wildlife and be used by migratory birds.
April 5, 2013
While heading north on the I-205 freeway or from SE Powell Boulevard near the freeway ramp, you may have seen construction vehicles at work clearing the south side of Kelly Butte. Crews were busy removing non-native and invasive plants, dead and diseased trees, and unfortunately a few healthy trees. All of this work is part of the construction of the new 25-million gallon underground drinking water reservoir on the butte.
January 29, 2013
TriMet has relocated the westbound bus stop at SE Powell Blvd. and Powell Garage Drive (Bus Line #9 Powell - Stop ID 4543). The passenger stop was relocated for public safety due to construction on the Portland Water Bureau’s new Kelly Butte reservoir. The new bus stop is located about one block east near SE Powell Blvd. and SE 99th Ave., and will stay in this temporary location until 2015. Additional information on Bus Line #9 is available online. For help in planning a trip or locating information on travel and walk times, transfers and cost, visit TriMet’s online trip planner.
October 11, 2012
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.