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Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project: August 2016 Update

By Lindsay Wochnick

The Portland Water Bureau and contractor Hoffman Construction Company have officially begun a long-term capital improvement project to update the Washington Park reservoir site at 2403 SW Jefferson Street. The project complies with federal and state mandates, seismically strengthens key water infrastructure on Portland’s west side, and helps ensure a healthy, resilient, and secure water system.

A new 12.4 million gallon, seismically reinforced below ground reservoir will be constructed with a reflecting pool/water feature on top. The new reservoir will preserve the historic drinking water function provided by the original reservoirs and be engineered to withstand ongoing landslide encroachment and potentially catastrophic effects of a major earthquake.

Existing Reservoir 4 will be disconnected from the public drinking water system and a lowland wildlife habitat area, bioswale, and reflecting pool will be constructed in the basin.

When complete and online, the new reservoir will supply water to Portland’s west side and serve more than 360,000 people. This will include all downtown businesses and residents, 20 schools, three hospital complexes, more than 60 parks, and the Oregon Zoo.

Construction will proceed through 2019. A pause will occur from 2020 to 2022 to allow soils to consolidate to reduce any vertical movement. From 2022 to 2024, construction of interpretive features, including the two reflecting pools and surface features, will conclude the project.

Mid-September 2016 - March 2018
Starting September 12, 2016 and lasting for 12 to 18 months (March 2018), the following construction activity will occur.

This will cause impacts to traffic, parking, and TriMet bus service.

See chart below and access an online map detailing traffic impacts and entrances into and exits out of Washington Park during this period.

  • Tree and vegetation clearing within the project site and on SW Sacajawea and Sherwood boulevards
  • Major earthwork
  • Construction of upper and lower shoring walls
  • Construction of underground Reservoir 3


  • All parking spaces closed on SW Sacajawea Blvd.
  • All parking spaces closed on SW Sherwood Blvd.
  • All parking spaces closed on SW Lewis Clark Way.

Road Closures  

SW Sacajawea Boulevard

  • Closed to all vehicle and bike traffic and pedestrian use from the intersection of SW Sacajawea Blvd./SW Rose Park Rd./SW Wright Rd. to SW Park Pl.

SW Sherwood Boulevard

  • Closed to all vehicle and bike traffic and pedestrian use from SW Sacajawea Blvd. to the Soccer Field.
  • Closed to all vehicle traffic from the Soccer Field to SW Kingston Ave.
  • SW Sherwood Blvd. sidewalk remains open for pedestrian use and bike traffic from SW Kingston Ave. to the Soccer Field.
  • The Children’s Playground, Elephant House Picnic Center, and Soccer Field are accessible by foot.
  • Tour buses and the free park shuttle allowed access onto SW Sherwood Blvd. at SW Kingston Dr. for turnaround at the Soccer Field.

Traffic Flow Reversal

  • The flow of traffic is reversed on SW Lewis Clark Way. One-way traffic will travel SW Lewis Clark Way and exit the park on SW Park Pl.

Multi-Use Shared Path

  • A designated path separate from vehicles will be available on SW Lewis Clark Way.
  • Pedestrians and cyclists can use the path to travel both in and out of the park on SW Lewis Clark Way.
  • Cyclists are required to walk and not ride bicycles on the path. 

Intermittent Closures on Madison Ct. Trail

  • Pedestrians and cyclists can enter and exit the Madison Ct. Trail on SW Madison St. and SW Sacajawea Blvd.
  • The trail will be closed intermittently; watch for detour signage.

TriMet Bus Service

  • Bus Line 63 - Washington Park/Arlington Heights will be detoured.
  • Stops will be closed, including 6177 - SW Sacajawea & Sherwood Blvds.; 4346 - SW Park Pl. & Lewis & Clark Way in Portland Westbound; and 4343 - SW Park Pl. and Green Westbound

Park Attractions Open
During the project, park attractions will remain open, including:

  • Amphitheater
  • International Rose Test Garden
  • Children's Playground**
  • Soccer Field**

**Pedestrian and cycle access only; no vehicles permitted on SW Sherwood Blvd.

Park Trails

  • Mac Trail: Open, not affected by project work. Continued access via SW Sherwood Blvd. and SW Sacajawea Blvd.
  • SW Madison Ct. Trail: Closed intermittently, watch for detour signage.
**Construction-related traffic impacts are subject to change. To avoid traffic delays through the area, plan ahead and consider alternate routes to get to your destination. The traffic plan spanning mid-September 2016 to March 2018 has been approved by the Portland Bureau of Transportation. Safety is our top priority. The Water Bureau will be conducting evaluations and adjusting traffic flow as conditions require. The Water Bureau will be working with Portland Parks & Recreation, Explore Washington Park, and neighborhood associations to gather on-the-ground feedback and determine if changes are necessary.
  • W Burnside Rd. to SW Tichner Dr.
  • W Burnside Rd. to SW Fischer Ln.
  • SW Fairview Blvd. to SW Knights Blvd.
  • SW Canyon Rd. to SW Knights Blvd. 
  • SW Tichner Dr. to W Burnside Rd.
  • SW Fairview Blvd. to SW Knights Blvd. 
  • SW Fischer Ln. to W Burnside Rd.
  • SW Lewis Clark Way to SW Park Pl.
  • SW Knights Blvd. to SW Canyon Rd.



Tree Pruning / Inspection Within project site, around the reservoirs, along SW Sacajawea Boulevard, SW Lewis Clark Way, & SW Madison Court X        
Construction Fence Installation Within project site X        
Erosion Control Within project site  X        
Vegetation / Tree Removal Around the reservoirs, by SW Sacajawea and Sherwood boulevards  X  X      
Selective Site Demolition Within project site  X  X      
Remove Weir Building Within project site   X      
Disconnect Reservoir 4 Inlet and Outlet Piping Within project site   X      
Removal of Stilling Tank inside Gatehouse 4 Within project site   X      
Construct Upper and Lower Shoring Walls Within project site   X X

KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE The Water Bureau will be presenting project updates at upcoming local neighborhood association meetings. Join us to learn more about the project. 

To contact us with questions or concerns or to sign up to receive project updates by e-mail:


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