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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project

  • Project Updates Stay in the know about project progress! Sign up to receive emailed updates.

  • Upper Reservoir - Pump House View The new reservoir is engineered to withstand ongoing landslide encroachment and seismic events.

  • Serving Portland Since 1895 When completed, the new reservoir will provide service for at least another 100 years.

  • Lower Reservoir 4 - Downtown View A lowland wildlife habitat area, bio-swale, and reflecting pool will be constructed.

  • Supplying Water to Portland's West Side Serving more than 360,000 people, 20 schools, three hospital complexes, 60 parks, and major attractions.

  • Upper Reservoir 3 - Grand Staircase View The new reservoir, in the footprint of the historic Reservoir 3 (upper), features a reflecting pool at ground level.

  • Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project A new 12.4-million gallon, seismically reinforced underground reservoir.

  • Lower Reservoir 4 - Powerhouse View Existing Reservoir 4 (lower) will be disconnected from the public drinking water system.

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Updated: September 5, 2018

NIGHT WORK - July 9 - October 1, 2018 Button to signup for email updates

The Portland Water Bureau has been granted a noise permit by the City of Portland Noise Control Program to allow construction activity outside allowable hours. A permit allows construction to occur later than 6 p.m. and earlier than 7 a.m.

Night work may occur July 9—October 1, 2018. During this time a swing shift (4:00 p.m.—3:00 a.m.) may work on the construction site.

During construction, you can expect noise from saws, excavation, dump trucks, generators, lights, and cranes.

What's Happening Now

Exciting times are on the horizon!

Crews have begun the process of applying shotcrete to the lower shored wall on the north side of the new reservoir site. This process will blow concrete onto the structure created by the Nelson Studs and rebar mates, resulting in a new surface to the wall.

September 10 crews plan to begin drilling the first shafts that will support and stabilize the new reservoir. Shafts will be drilled as deep as 100-feet, a rebar cage will be lower into the shaft and then the shaft will be filled with concrete. There will be 176 shafts in total when this phase is completed. In the linked illustration the shafts are represented in yellow and brown.

The week of Sept. 23 will be eventful on the site of the Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project. The first tower crane will arrive and be erected on-site and planning for that event is underway. Traffic control will be set up Sunday, Sept. 23, and the crane will begin to arrive in pieces at approximately 7 a.m. Monday, Sep. 24. Arriving by tractor trailer via Southwest Park Place, Lewis Clark Way and then to Sacajawea. It will take more than a dozen deliveries to get all the pieces on-site.

Traffic control will require the closure of SW Sacajawea Boulevard from SW Sherwood Boulevard to the park entrance at Park Place, the closure of Madison Trail, and restricting access to a portion of the island encircled by SW Sacajawea Boulevard and Lewis Clark Way. These controls will be in place for a week, until the crane is fully erected. While SW Park Place and Lewis Clark Way will be open, expect traffic delays as deliveries are transported.

It is anticipated, that by the end of day Friday, Sept. 28, traffic control will be removed, and SW Sacajawea will be reopened. See the traffic impact map HERE.

The crane will be a Liebherr luffing boom crane (pictured), which features elements that will be particularly useful to its work on-site. A luffing boom crane can move, be stowed, and operated with its boom extended in an upward direction to avoid the surrounding trees and overhead utilities.  

Once the tower is fully erected and secured, the slewing unit, which allows the crane to rotate, will be lowered into place. On top of the slewing unit, the operator's cab and arms, called booms, are set in place. The shorter arm (the counter boom) will contain the motor and electronics as well as large concrete counter weights for stability. The long arm (the working boom) houses the hook and block for lifting materials and equipment. See a photo of a luffing boom crane HERE.


To see photos and learn more about activities on-site over the past month, check out the monthly update HERE.

Did You Know?I love preparedness logo

September is National Preparedness Month!

At the Portland Water Bureau, we work daily to hardening the backbone of our water system and building storage to withstand a natural disaster and last for generations. In an emergency, everyone has a role to play. What’s your role?

One very important way to prepare for emergencies is to keep enough clean water on hand in case our water system is damaged. See how your neighbors prepare by storing water at


Community Outreach History

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Project Overview

Including the project description, map and schedule

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Traffic Impacts

Beginning April 2, 2018