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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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July 2017: Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project Monthly Update

Take the Washington Park Shuttle

Washington Park Free Shuttle

Parking in the park can be a challenge, even without construction. Fortunately, Washington Park offers a free shuttle that provides transportation to all the park’s attractions.

The shuttle runs every 15 minutes and takes about 30 minutes to do the entire loop. From May to September there is daily service from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can access the shuttle from the MAX stop, as well as walk, roll, or bus to any of the various stops to easily hop on and tour the park.

Learn more and see the stops at

Park users are encouraged to move safely around the park and its attractions. Please watch carefully for detours and signage, and follow direction from flaggers. Visit and for transit options.

Construction continues on a Portland Water Bureau long term project to improve and updates the Washington Park reservoir at 2403 SW Jefferson Street. This project brings the city into compliance with federal and state mandates, seismically strengthens key water infrastructure on Portland’s west side. The improvements also help ensure a healthy, resilient, and secure water system.

Upper Reservoir

A new 12.4-million gallon, seismically reinforced, below ground reservoir will be constructed in the same footprint of existing Reservoir 3 (the upper one) with a reflecting pool/water feature on top. The engineers preserved the historic drinking water function, and improved the reservoir to withstand ongoing landslide encroachment or other potentially catastrophic effects from a major earthquake.

Once completed, the upper reservoir will supply water to Portland’s west side and serve:

  • 360,000 people
  • All downtown businesses and residents
  • Twenty schools
  • Five hospital complexes
  • Sixty parks
  • Landmarks such as the Oregon Zoo

Lower Reservoir

The existing Reservoir 4 (the lower one) is disconnected from the public drinking water system and will boast a lowland wildlife habitat area and bioswale. Additionally, a reflecting pool will be constructed in the basin.


Construction started September 12, 2016 and is anticipated to proceed through 2020. A pause is scheduled to occur from 2020 to 2022 to allow soils to settle for greater stability and resiliency. From 2022 to 2024, construction of interpretive features, including the two reflecting pools and surface features, will conclude the project.

July 2017 Accomplishments

  • Reservoir 4 filling placement is intermittent and dependent on excavation shoring wall work. Begin installation of storm drain piping.
  • Washington Park updatesReservoir 3: Backfill and construction of the toe block continues.
  • Work inside Gatehouse 4: Continue with piping, interior stairs and mid-level decking installation.
  • Gatehouse 3: Abatement and removal of the wet well inside Gatehouse 3 will begin in August.
  • Shoring wall construction along Sacajawea – Two shoring walls – one temporary and one permanent – are being built to protect the site from earth movement and allow for construction of the underground reservoir. The temporary wall has been completed and construction of the permanent wall has begun.
  • Yard piping: Installation of waterline, storm and sanitary piping behind Pump Station 1 and Dam 3 will begin in August.
  • Work inside Pump Station 3: Begin seismic upgrade work.
  • Single large truck deliveries carrying materials for the construction of the permanent retaining wall will take place Monday mornings between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. through the month of August.
  • Yard Piping: Installation of waterline piping along Madison Trail has begun. This will cause a temporary closure of the trail.
  • Erosion control at the site is ongoing.

For More Information

Please contact us with questions, concerns, or to change your preferences to receive project updates. For questions or concerns regarding the Washington Park Reservoir:

Safety is Our Top Priority

The traffic control plan in place has been approved by the Portland Bureau of Transportation. The Water Bureau will be conducting evaluations and adjusting traffic flow as conditions require. The Water Bureau is working with Portland Parks & Recreation, Explore Washington Park, neighborhood associations, and the community to gather on-the-ground feedback and determine if changes are necessary. Please provide your traffic and signage feedback by phone, e-mail, or on the dedicated webpage.

Activity and Impacts

Until March 2018, major earthwork will occur along with the construction of shoring walls necessary for construction of the new underground reservoir. Work during this stage will cause temporary impacts to traffic, parking, and TriMet bus service.


Current to March 2018


Road Closures

  • SW Sacajawea Boulevard is closed to all vehicle and bike traffic and pedestrian use from the intersection of SW Sacajawea Boulevard/SW Rose Park Road/SW Wright Road to SW Park Place.
  • SW Sherwood Boulevard is closed to all vehicle and bike traffic and pedestrian use from SW Sacajawea Boulevard to the Soccer Field.
  • SW Sherwood Boulevard is closed to all vehicle traffic from the Soccer Field to SW Kingston Avenue.
  • SW Sherwood Boulevard sidewalk is open for pedestrian use and bike traffic from SW Kingston Avenue to the Soccer Field.

Tour Buses, Free Park Shuttle

  • Tour buses and the free park shuttle are allowed access onto SW Sherwood Boulevard at SW Kingston Drive for turnaround at the Soccer Field. No unauthorized vehicles will be permitted on SW Sherwood Blvd.

Traffic Flow Reversal

  • The flow of traffic is reversed on SW Lewis Clark Way.
  • One-way traffic travels SW Lewis Clark

Multi-Use Shared Path

  • A designated path separate from vehicles is now 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.


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


  • 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.
  • Mac Trail: Open, not affected by project work. Continued access via SW Sherwood Blvd. and SW Sacajawea Blvd.

TriMet Bus Service

  • TriMet Bus Line 63 - Washington Park/Arlington Heights is detoured.
  • The following stops are closed: 6177, 4346, and 4343
  • Check for updates.



  • W Burnside Rd. to SW Tichner Dr.
  • SW Canyon Rd. to SW Knights Blvd.
  • SW Fairview Blvd. to SW Knights Blvd.
  • SW Fairview Blvd. to SW Knights Blvd.
  • SW Knights Blvd. to SW Canyon Rd.
  • SW Lewis Clark Way to SW Park Pl.
  • SW Tichner Dr. to W Burnside Rd.
  • SW Fairview Blvd. to SW Knights Blvd.
  • SW Knights Blvd. to SW Canyon Rd.
  • SW Lewis Clark Way to SW Park Pl.
  • SW Tichner Dr. to W Burnside Rd.