Customer Service: 503-823-7770
GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404
Portland’s water mains (pipes) that cross the Willamette River are more than 50 years old and will probably not survive a major earthquake. The Willamette River Crossing Project, which will build an earthquake-resilient water main deep under the Willamette River, is part of the Water Bureau’s commitment to preparedness. This new water pipe will help ensure that we can deliver safe and abundant water to the west side, even after an earthquake.
In May 2019, we gave a design-build team lead by J.W. Fowler Company notice to proceed. We chose this team because of their innovative proposal to combine two modern construction methods—Horizontal Directional Drilling and Microtunneling—to bury pipe deep in bedrock, where it will be more protected from earthquake risks and have less impact on businesses, the public, and the environment.
Now that we have our team together, we will start sending more frequent updates as we engage with the public during the design phase. We look forward to keeping you informed about this important project.
The Willamette River Crossing Project is currently in the design and exploration phase. This phase includes locating underground utilities and conducting a geotechnical probe, which will provide important information about the soil deep underground and help us confirm the best path across the river.
For more details about each phase, visit the project website at portlandoregon.gov/water/wrx.
Parking lot and stairway closure: The parking lot and stairway at SW Naito Pkwy between Harrison and Market streets will now be closed to the public for the duration of the project. Use the ADA accessible ramp on the south end of the parking lot as a detour for the stairway.
Activity along SW Naito Pkwy and Harbor Dr between Harrison St and Market St: In October, crews will start digging to allow for an exploratory drill to be placed on the site. This excavation will be fairly deep (20-30 feet) and visible from Harbor Avenue. Crews will then install a temporary wall around the excavation to allow for safe drilling within the area. Temporary lane closures may be in effect on SW Harbor Dr.
Site exploration and field work: In September and October, crews will begin conducting site exploration and field work on the east and west sides of the river.
Site Exploration Locations
Field Work Locations
What to Expect
Work hours are generally between 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Work schedules are subject to change due to contractor availability and weather.
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