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Portland Water Bureau

From forest to faucet, we deliver the best drinking water in the world.


MAILING ADDRESS: 1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204

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Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project

Updated: December 1, 2017

What's Happening Now

The Madison Trail continues to be closed, and at present we can’t be certain when it will reopen. During exploratory work, the Contractor discovered a conflict between an existing high-pressure water main and the designed alignment of a new water main being installed along the Madison trail.  Adjustments to the alignment, the need for utility protection of the exiting main, public safety issues, and long lead time for materials have required Madison Trail to be closed longer than anticipated. We will let you know as soon as we have a reasonably certain timeframe for the trail reopening.

A new ramp will soon be built into Reservoir 3 and the existing ramp will be removed. This will allow crews to build toe blocks, which provide stability to the wall structure, and other improvements in that area. The material in the existing ramp will be reused on site as fill for the Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) wall. The new, relocated ramp will be constructed of materials already on site or from imported materials that were being brought in for the MSE wall. This type of thoughtful management means neighbors will not experience increases in dump truck deliveries.

Check out the photos on the Special Information page.

Fun Facts About the Project

October 6, we held tours of the project and had more than 40 people visit the site and talk to our project engineers. Check out the Water Blog and see some of the young techies who showed up to learn about the project:

By the end of this project:

  • 3,000 truckloads of concrete will be used, for a total of 30,170 cubic-yards, or 120 million pounds.
  • 35,000 truckloads of soil will be delivered
  • 7.4 million pounds of rebar will be installed

The Portland Water Bureau is rebuilding the Washington Park reservoirs, a project that continues through 2024.  Washington Park reservoirs have been in service since 1894. When completed, this project will supply water to Portland’s west side and serve more than 360,000 people, including all downtown businesses and residents, 20 schools, five hospital complexes, and more than 60 parks. This system of water conveyance and storage makes Portland a livable, and thriving community, ensuring public health and economic viability.  

You can view the most recent Look Ahead Schedule HERE, and you can see a current site map HERE.

Did You Know?  

This project is building a new 12.4-million gallon, seismically reinforced below ground reservoir, within the footprint of the existing Reservoir 3 (upper) with a reflection pool/water feature on top. While retaining the historic look and feel of the original reservoir, it has been engineered to withstand ongoing landside encroachment and potentially catastrophic effects of a major earthquake.
The existing Reservoir 4 (lower) is disconnected from the public drinking water system and is being developed into a lowland wildlife habitat area, bioswale, and reflecting pool.

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Community Outreach History

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Project Overview

Including the project description, map and schedule