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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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Mt. Tabor Park Reservoir Preservation Work Set to Begin in November 2017

Construction activities to repair and rebuild the historic features of the Mt. Tabor Park reservoirs will begin in November 2017.

The areas impacted are the reservoir loop walkway around Reservoir 1 and the concrete stairway on the dam face between Reservoirs 5 and 6.

The Reservoir 1 walkway will be closed until Spring 2018.

Reservoir 1: November 2017—May 2018

Concrete restoration will begin in November 2017 and conclude in late spring 2018. Contractors will conduct a complete makeover of the south wall and the walkway around Reservoir 1 as well as miscellaneous exterior concrete repairs to the gatehouses at Reservoirs 5 and 6 and the Weir Building. As this work is weather dependent, an actual completion date cannot be determined. Work will begin the first week of November 2017. Reservoir 1 will be drained so that consultants can conduct a basin condition assessment.

Dam Face Fencing: November—December 2017

The community has prioritized the replacement of fencing that isolates the dam face between Reservoirs 5 and 6 from park activities. This isolation and protection is required by the Oregon Water Resources Department Dam Safety Program. The existing chain link fence will be removed and a more visually compatible and complementary fence will be installed. A new railing on the south side of the concrete staircase will also be installed. Some non-native landscaping has been removed, and native plants will be planted in select areas. Work will begin the second week of November and will take three to four weeks to complete. The concrete staircase on the dam face will be closed during certain times during construction. Please obey all construction signs and fencing.

Preservation construction activities on select historic reservoir and gatehouse features are scheduled for the next three years. The public will be kept informed of the construction schedule.

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There have been many changes to the Portland Water Bureau operations at Mt. Tabor Park in the past few years, most notably the disconnection of the open reservoirs from the water system.

While the reservoirs no longer supply drinking water to city residents, they continue to be an asset to the City, and are an integral and historic part of Mt. Tabor Park.

To that end, the City of Portland has committed $4 million over the next several years to begin historic restoration of the integrity of the reservoirs and their buildings, walls and fences. 

A project team comprised of Portland Water Bureau staff, and representatives of the Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association and the Friends of Mt. Tabor Park are managing the development and implementation of the activities related to the Mt. Tabor Reservoirs Historic Preservation Project.

There are two programs associated with the project:

  1. structural historic preservation
  2. historic interpretation and education

Both programs are scheduled to be completed before 2020.