Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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

Customer Service: 503-823-7770


More Contact Info

MEDIA ADVISORY 7/23/2020 We’re Digging Deep: Willamette River Crossing Geotechical Probe Begins this Week

NOTE: Re-distributing press release from this morning’s media availability with video/audio for production purposes.

How will the Portland Water Bureau install pipe deep below the Willamette River? Learn more about the next phase of the Willamette River Crossing project and how it supports the City of Portland’s seismic resilience goals during this media availability:  


10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Friday, July 24. Video footage and audio clips from work site are available by request.

Willamette River Crossing Project Manager Tim Collins will discuss:

  • How this project helps the city be better prepared for an earthquake
  • The fascinating and complex construction and engineering techniques used for this project, including horizontal directional drilling and microtunneling
  • Upcoming traffic and noise impacts

Background: The pipes that carry water from the east to west side of the Willamette River are more than 50 years old and will likely not survive a major earthquake. To help us keep water flowing to the west side, the Portland Water Bureau is planning to install an earthquake-resilient pipe deep under the river, a project we call the Willamette River Crossing.

The project is in the design and exploration phase. We’re investing a little before we go “full bore.” We will use a geotechnical probe to help map the types of soil or rock beneath the river.


The Portland Water Bureau serves water to almost a million people in the Portland area. Portland’s water system includes two great water sources, 53 tanks and reservoirs, and 2,200 miles of pipes. With 600 employees working on everything from water treatment to customer service, the Water Bureau is committed to serving excellent water every minute of every day.