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Oregon Delegation Announces Major Water Infrastructure Loan for Tualatin Valley Water District and City of Hillsboro

November 2, 2018

PORTLAND, OR – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, with Representatives Suzanne Bonamici, Earl Blumenauer, and Kurt Schrader, today announced that a massive $616.6 million loan, made possible through special federal funding from the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), will be made available to the Tualatin Valley Water District and the City of Hillsboro.

The financing will save ratepayers in the Willamette Water Supply System hundreds of millions of dollars in financing costs for the drinking water system that is under construction to deliver water to the agencies by 2026.

“Investments in water infrastructure create good jobs and are critical for public health,” said Merkleywho in January 2017 celebrated the official launch of his WIFIA law that is making this financing available to the Willamette Water Supply System. “Oregon’s leaders—including those in Washington County—deserve a tremendous share of the credit for this progress. Their persistence in brainstorming solutions ultimately led to the creation of this program. As this Willamette Water Supply System shows, that persistence is already is paying huge dividends for our communities here in Oregon—and for communities across the country.”

“These investments will make an incredible difference for Hillsboro and Tualatin Valley Water District customers, saving them money and giving them ease of mind that their water supply will be protected,” Wyden said. “The program is an excellent example of the work that can be done to bring our nation’s water infrastructure into the 21st century. I will continue to fight for infrastructure funding and financing for all forms of infrastructure in Oregon and around the country.”

“Access to safe and reliable drinking water is critical for our communities to stay healthy and thrive,” Bonamici said. “This federal financing will boost the ambitious plan that is in place to upgrade water systems in Washington County, benefitting hundreds of thousands of Oregonians. We need more resilient and sustainable water infrastructure investments like this to protect our communities from toxic contaminants and natural disasters.”

“Having access to clean drinking water is extremely important and this is another opportunity for Oregon to lead the way,” Blumenauer said.

“This grant is excellent news for ratepayers throughout the Tualatin Valley Water District,” Schrader said. “Water infrastructure is, of course, a foundational cornerstone to every community and ensuring that we continue to invest in that infrastructure is vital to a community’s survival. The ability to invest and improve that while also saving ratepayers millions of dollars is huge, and I applaud my colleagues and the leaders of Washington County for their hard work in this.”

“Receiving federal support is a testament to the merits and importance of the supply program to the region,” said Bernice Bagnall, Chair of the Board of TVWD Commission. “The WIFIA funding saves our customers millions in repayment costs. Oregon’s congressional delegation deserves our thanks for convincing Congress create the WIFIA program and for strongly supporting our project.”

“I am thrilled for Hillsboro and Tualatin Valley Water District customers to know the WIFIA loan will save them million dollars in the coming decades,” said Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway. “These cost savings demonstrate the importance of local and federal officials working together to ensure that our investment in an additional, resilient, and redundant future water supply makes the most of every dollar.”

Through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), partners in the Willamette Water Supply System will be able to apply for up to $616.6 million in WIFIA financing support. The WIFIA financing, once completed, will save Tualatin Valley Water District and City of Hillsboro ratepayers approximately $383 million in repayment costs.

The new drinking water delivery system—including its intake, over 30 miles of pipes, water treatment plant, and two storage reservoirs—will serve 400,000 residents and businesses in Washington County. The $1.2 billion system is being built to the highest seismic safety standard to recover quickly after a major earthquake. To date, 96 percent of the project’s expenditures, over $80 million, have been spent in the local economy.

The WIFIA program was created by Merkley in 2014, signed into law in December 2016. Merkley fought to create the WIFIA program after hearing directly from Oregon community leaders, including those in Washington County, about the lack of low-cost financing options for critical water infrastructure upgrade and repair projects.

Last year, the competitive program selected 12 projects for loans, including the Willamette Water Supply System project. The WIFIA credit assistance allows the Tualatin Valley Water District and City of Hillsboro to lock in financing savings at today’s low rates for the duration of the entire program. And, unlike commercial bond transactions, payments on borrowed funds do not begin until funds are taken, adding to the savings for ratepayers.

Link to Press Release

Federal loan will aid regional water project

By: Peter Wong , 

Congressional delegation announces $617 million toward $1.2 billion program to provide supplies to Washington County communities by 2026.

Oregon’s congressional delegation has announced a $617 million federal loan that will enable the Tualatin Valley Water District and several cities to obtain water from the Willamette River.

The loan from the Environmental Protection Agency will allow the Willamette Water Supply Program to deliver water to the affected areas by 2026 and save an estimated $383 million in financing costs.

Participating cities are Beaverton, Hillsboro, Sherwood, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville, plus Washington County and the Tualatin Valley district. When completed, the $1.2 billion system will allow them to tap a total of 60 million gallons per day and provide water even if a severe earthquake off the Oregon coast disrupts their current supplies.

The loan will be repaid by water customers of the participating agencies.

The announcement was made Friday, Nov. 2, by Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, and Reps. Suzanne Bonamici, Earl Blumenauer and Kurt Schrader, whose districts cover the Portland metropolitan area.

Merkley was the chief advocate for the 2014 Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, under which the loan was among 12 approved nationwide. The law was signed in December 2016; this is the second year that projects have been funded.

“Oregon’s leaders — including those in Washington County — deserve a tremendous share of the credit for this progress. Their persistence in brainstorming solutions ultimately led to the creation of this program,” Merkley said in a statement.

“As this Willamette Water Supply System shows, that persistence is already is paying huge dividends for our communities here in Oregon — and for communities across the country.”

Merkley referred to complaints by local officials about the lack of low-cost financing options to pay for large-scale water and sewer improvements.

The loan enables the Tualatin Valley Water District and Hillsboro to lock in lower loan rates for the duration of the project. Unlike commercial bonds, loan repayments start only after the agencies draw the money.

Among the program’s features: Improvements in intakes from the Willamette River, a new treatment plant at Wilsonville, more than 30 miles of pipeline and two reservoirs.

The announcement drew praise from Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway and the Tualatin Valley Water District board.

Callaway: “These cost savings demonstrate the importance of local and federal officials working together to ensure that our investment in an additional, resilient, and redundant future water supply makes the most of every dollar.”

Bernice Bagnall, TVWD board chair: “Receiving federal support is a testament to the merits and importance of the supply program to the region. Oregon’s congressional delegation deserves our thanks for convincing Congress to create the WIFIA program and for strongly supporting our project.”

Link to Pamplin Media Group article

Supply program provides update on Big Pipe project from Wilsonville north

By: Corey Buchanan, 

Big Pipe Project update.

Also during the work session, Willamette Water Supply Program coordinators provided an update on a project that will implement a 30-mile water pipeline from Wilsonville to Hillsboro.

The project will provide more water for jurisdictions such as Hillsboro and Beaverton while Wilsonville will also add 5 million gallons per day. Wilsonville will invest $125,000 in construction costs for the project and be paid $17 million in prepaid rents by 2026 for the hassle of construction to the community.

The first part of the project in Wilsonville, which is slated to begin and end in 2019, would place the pipe along Kinsman Road from the east side of S.W. Arrowhead Creek near the Willamette River Water Treatment Plant and then stop a few hundred feet across Wilsonville Road. WWSP staff are still working on a traffic plan for construction at the Wilsonville Road crossing. WWSP wants to finish this phase before the Fifth Street-to-Kinsman Road extension is completed.

“We accelerated this project because we want to get our pipeline in before your Fifth Street (extension) because that’s going to change the traffic and South Kinsman is going to become a pretty busy road once that’s done,” said Mike Britch, the Willamette Water Supply engineering and construction manager. ”

The second phase of the project, which is slated to start in 2019 and end in 2020, would run the pipe along S.W. Garden Acres Road from S.W.

Ridder Road to S.W. Day Road.

And the last phase would include construction from S.W. Boeckman Road to S.W. Ridder Road along S.W. 95th Ave. as well as along Kinsman Road between Wilsonville Road and S.W. Barbur St. This project is scheduled to begin in 2020 and finish in 2022.

The project will provide more water for jurisdictions such as Hillsboro and Beaverton while Wilsonville will also add 5 million gallons per day. Wilsonville will invest $125,000 in construction costs for the project and be paid $17 million in prepaid rents by 2026 for the hassle of construction to the community.

The first part of the project in Wilsonville, which is slated to begin and end in 2019, would place the pipe along Kinsman Road from the east side of S.W. Arrowhead Creek near the Willamette River Water Treatment Plant and then stop a few hundred feet across Wilsonville Road. WWSP staff are still working on a traffic plan for construction at the Wilsonville Road crossing. WWSP wants to finish this phase before the Fifth Street-to-Kinsman Road extension is completed.

“We accelerated this project because we want to get our pipeline in before your Fifth Street (extension) because that’s going to change the traffic and South Kinsman is going to become a pretty busy road once that’s done,” said Mike Britch, the Willamette Water Supply engineering and construction manager. ”

The second phase of the project, which is slated to start in 2019 and end in 2020, would run the pipe along S.W. Garden Acres Road from S.W. Ridder Road to S.W. Day Road.

And the last phase would include construction from S.W. Boeckman Road to S.W. Ridder Road along S.W. 95th Ave. as well as along Kinsman Road between Wilsonville Road and S.W. Barbur St. This project is scheduled to begin in 2020 and finish in 2022.

Link to Wilsonville Spokesman article

Keep the jobs pipeline local for water supply

By: Mike Morey

On the Westside, those who manage our water are thinking and planning ahead to secure a new source for our water supply

On the Westside, those who manage our water are thinking and planning ahead to secure a new source for our water supply
We often take for granted our ability to turn on a kitchen faucet and have clean water flow. Fortunately, we live in a part of the world where running water is readily available. I was amazed to read recently that 2.1 billion people worldwide lack access to safely managed drinking water — this is according to the United Nations.

Here on the Westside, those who manage our water are thinking and planning ahead to secure a new source for our water supply. The Willamette Water Supply Program is a partnership between Tualatin Valley Water District and the City of Hillsboro, and will develop the mid-Willamette River at Wilsonville as an additional water supply source.

This new system will run water from Wilsonville towards Cooper Mountain in Beaverton and out to Hillsboro — more than 30 miles. It’s expected to be up and flowing by 2026 and will provide an additional reliable water supply for the region. It will also help water system operators balance the water supply during times of drought or other interruptions.

It is going to offer us the opportunity to recover more quickly after a large natural disaster.

Management of the project has also been fiscally responsible as leaders look to coordinate with partners like Washington County (a public sector member of Westside Economic Alliance). When it’s possible, the water supply staff have planned the pipeline to be laid or connected at the same time as other road construction projects, such as the 124 Avenue extension in the Tualatin, Sherwood, and Wilsonville area.

It would include being part of new areas of development, like in South Hillsboro. By partnering with these sites where construction is planned or already underway, residents will experience far less construction impact in their area, and it saves ratepayers money too.

Construction will peak between 2021-2024 in completing the 30 miles of seismically resilient large-diameter pipeline, reservoir tanks and water treatment plant. The estimated overall cost is expected to be $1.2 billion with most of the cost earmarked for planning, engineering, construction and real estate.

The early leadership goals and the mission statement helped guide the development of the water supply program to emphasize the importance of keeping the project local.

The individual construction projects are purposefully “bite-sized” so local contractors and talent can bid, win and successfully complete the projects. This effort has been successful thus far, with more than 90 percent of all the project funds spent in employing local firms, construction companies, and others.

According to the program’s newsletter, more than 100 local businesses have provided goods and services for the program, contributing about $58.8 million to the local economy.

These local businesses include Westside Economic Alliance members, such as Angelo Planning Group, Baker Rock Resources, Cardno, CH2M, Comcast, David Evans & Associates, DKS Associates and Otak. Here are what some of these members have said about their involvement in the Willamette Water Supply Program:

Keith Peal, VP from Baker Rock stated, “We appreciate the opportunity to work on this local project. It has been well planned and will provide much-needed infrastructure for our community.”

“It is exciting to work on a local project that will have a lasting impact on our region,” said Frank Angelo, owner, of Angelo Planning Group.

Otak’s Don Hanson — a principal planner — said, “The Willamette Water Supply Program addresses the issue of clean and safe water for generations to come. We are proud to be a local member of the team that will complete the project.”

“DEA is proud to participate in the planning of the Willamette Water Supply System that will provide water to the westside for the next 100 years,” said Gavin Oien, VP of David Evans & Associates.

At Westside Economic Alliance, our mission is to ensure the economic vitality of the region.

This creatively planned project will provide future water resources for economic growth, and the construction phase of it ensures business opportunities and employment for local providers in Washington County.

To learn more about the Willamette Water Supply Program, visit: OurReliableWater.org


Mike Morey is the president of the Westside Economic Alliance Board of Directors. He works at The Standard and can be reached at: westsidealliance.org

Originally posted at PortlandTribune.com

Region in crosshairs of earthquake, study warns

By: Steve Law     

“When Hillsboro built its new city hall, the Hillsboro Civic Center, in 2005, it was built to withstand a major earthquake. Likewise, the city’s major construction project building a new water supply line from Wilsonville to Hillsboro, is being built to keep water pipes intact, even during an earthquake.”

Locals say cities are working to protect the region, but a massive quake will still cause havoc.

The “Big One” will devastate the Portland area even more than scientists expected, according to a new state geologists’ study of how a major earthquake will affect the tri-county area.

The study, released Thursday, March 15, found that a magnitude 9 earthquake centered off the Oregon Coast in the Cascadia Subduction Zone would cause tens of thousands of casualties in the Portland area, displace tens of thousands of residents from their homes, and cost tens of billions of dollars in building damage.

Virtually all of western Washington County’s population centers are within an area shaded red — the second-highest level of danger — on a risk map released along with the study by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.

The study estimates Hillsboro would be second only to Portland among cities in the metro area in forecast damage from a major Cascadia earthquake.

Depending on whether the magnitude 9 offshore quake occurs during the daytime or the nighttime, there could be as many as 7,700 casualties in Washington County alone, the study warns.

Up to 121 people could die immediately in an earthquake in Hillsboro, according to the study. In Forest Grove and Cornelius, the study estimates about 41 dead between the two cities.

As many as 14 percent of buildings could be total losses in the county, with the cost to repair damaged buildings estimated between $7 billion and $11.6 billion in today’s dollars.

Across the county, up to 37,700 people could be displaced for an extended period, according to the study. In the tri-county region, the estimates for long-term displaced range from 16,800 to 85,300.

Casualties, damage and displacement are expected to be higher if the soil is saturated — in other words, if it has been raining and the ground is soft, as it is for much of the year in northwestern Oregon. An earthquake that strikes during the day is expected to be deadlier as well. The top end of estimates represents the worst-case scenario, in which the soil is saturated and the quake hits during daytime hours.

While the eastern end of the region, including the Gresham area, is not expected to be as hard-hit as Portland and its Westside suburbs, damage is still forecast to be widespread as far as the Cascades.

“Although damage estimates vary widely throughout the study area, no community will be unharmed,” the authors concluded.

Recovering from a Cascadia earthquake won’t be just a matter of putting out fires and stemming floods. There will be region-wide challenges to restore power, bridges and freeways, provide emergency medical care and assure food and water can be delivered.

It will take months just to inspect homes and other damaged buildings to see if they are safe. Meanwhile, many will have to find other shelter, and some work places will have to be closed or relocated.

Local reaction

The Forest Grove Sustainability Commission, which advises the Forest Grove City Council on environmental issues, recently held an event at which Stacy Metzger dispensed earthquake preparedness advice.

Metzger volunteers as the “Map Your Neighborhood” coordinator for Forest Grove Fire & Rescue.

“For Forest Grove alone, the prediction is an earthquake of this size would create $496 million in property damage, 2,200 people in need of shelters, nearly 600 injuries (142 of which would require hospitalization), and 36 fatalities,” Forest Grove Fire & Rescue reported on its official Facebook page, listing some of the projections for the city from the state geologists’ study.

Such an earthquake is hard to imagine and difficult to predict, the agency said, but it would “undoubtedly devastate northwest Oregon.”

“This is a good wake-up call, and it is even more reason to get prepared for a large earthquake,” Metzger said Monday.

Metzger has two degrees in geology and spends a lot of time thinking about earthquake preparedness. But even she can’t predict what an earthquake will look like in her community of Forest Grove when it hits.

“I just say be prepared for the worst, and then you’re prepared for everything or anything, big or small,” she said.

Washington County and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management urge residents to be “two weeks ready,” keeping a two-week supply of necessities on hand in case of a major earthquake that cripples infrastructure and disrupts the transportation network. But Metzger encourages anyone who might find a two-week requirement daunting to start out by building a three-day kit. As she pointed out, you can always add to it later.

Hillsboro city officials have been preparing for a major earthquake for years, according to Tammy Bryan, emergency manager for the Hillsboro Fire Department.

“Prior to the release of this study, the region was reliant on information that was 20 years old,” Bryan said. “While this study does not tell us what will happen to specific homes or businesses, it does give us a greater understanding of potential impacts for our City. This information reinforces the need for continued planning, training, and collaboration to further reduce these impacts and become more resilient.”

When Hillsboro built its new city hall, the Hillsboro Civic Center, in 2005, it was built to withstand a major earthquake. Likewise, the city’s major construction project building a new water supply line from Wilsonville to Hillsboro, is being built to keep water pipes intact, even during an earthquake.

“While the threat of an earthquake may seem daunting, making a plan and identifying things you can do now to prepare can significantly reduce injuries and property damage,” the city wrote on its website about earthquake preparedness.

In the event of an earthquake, city services, such as police and fire, will likely be busy, so officials warn residents to prepare to deal with emergencies until help arrives.

“Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility,” the city said. “Citizens need to have some basic first aid skills and supplies, and will need to fend for themselves for all but the most severe calls until the demands for service returns to normal.”

In addition to planning emergency kits, city officials urge residents to make homes “earthquake safe” by bolting down and securing water heaters, refrigerators, furnaces and gas appliances, and repairing leaky gas lines and fastening shelves, mirrors and large picture frames to walls.

New software, new findings

The new study shows more severe impacts than previous estimates. But it didn’t bring any surprises or point to any new prevention efforts that haven’t been considered before, said Dan Douthit, spokesman for the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management.

“We’ve already been expecting significant damages,” Douthit said, “and every year that goes by, we get more and more prepared.”

Emergency planners still will focus on the region’s greatest vulnerabilities, including more than 1,600 unreinforced masonry buildings in the city of Portland. Many of the buildings in Forest Grove, one of the region’s oldest cities, feature unreinforced masonry as well.

“We know that unreinforced masonry buildings are likely to collapse, especially during a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake,” Douthit said. “Those pose an immediate life safety risk for people in them and people walking by during an earthquake.”

But the new study, using more sophisticated Hazus software developed for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), enabled scientists to drill down to damages at the neighborhood level as never before. The software is being constantly refined, incorporating real-world experiences from floods and earthquakes taking place around the world.

That enabled scientists to calculate the number of deaths, life-threatening injuries and hospitalizations that will occur in different neighborhood clusters in Portland and cities around the tri-county area.

Scientists now calculate there have been at least 40 large-magnitude earthquakes over the past 10,000 years along the 600-mile-long Cascadia subduction zone off the coasts of Oregon, Washington and Northern California. The most recent one occurred in 1700, and one recent study calculated there is a 15 to 20 percent chance that another one will occur in the next 50 years off the central and northern Oregon Coast.

Though considerably less likely, an earthquake of magnitude 6.8 epicentered in Portland’s West Hills would be even more catastrophic locally — causing more than twice the casualties and damages — according to the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries study.

State geologists plan to release a second phase of their study next year, charting the potential impacts to Columbia County and Clark County, Wash., to the north of the tri-county region.

Mark Miller and Geoff Pursinger contributed to this report.

Read the article here. 

 

Kinsman Road Project Completed 4 Months Early; Opens Next Week

By News Desk, News Partner , 

 Covering a half-mile of roadway in West Wilsonville, the $8.6 million extension is a “real win-win for the public,” city officials said.

WILSONVILLE, OR – From the City of Wilsonville: The City of Wilsonville announces that the new Kinsman Road extension that connects SW Barber Street to SW Boeckman Road is opening on budget and four months ahead of schedule during the week of Jan. 15.

In addition to providing another routing connection for travelers, construction of the roadway incorporated simultaneously other water- and sewer-installation infrastructure projects that resulted in reduced public disruption and costs.

Originally scheduled for completion in June 2018, the $8.6 million half-mile-long roadway segment, located between Villebois and the industrial westside of Wilsonville, connects two major arterials that greatly improves the city street-grid and provides increased connectivity for both freight and residential traffic.

The new Kinsman Road extension was constructed as a heavy-duty concrete roadway complete with sidewalks and bike lanes that also provides increased public access to the Wilsonville Transit Center, including SMART Central bus and Tri-Met WES commuter rail service.

City engineer Zach Weigel, PE, who oversaw the project, indicates that advance planning and permitting activities, favorable weather and well-coordinated government agencies and contractors contributed to the early completion of the project.

City Community Development Director Nancy Kraushaar, PE, said, “The Kinsman Road extension project is a real win-win for the public that provides new travel routing options, as well as reduced costs for additional major water and sewer projects.”

City engineers worked to combine $5.1 million of other public infrastructure projects with the long-planned road extension in order to more efficiently use taxpayer-funds. The Kinsman Road project included the installation of a $4.0 million segment of a major drinking-water pipeline and a $1.1 million sanitary sewer pipe. S

imultaneous construction of the road, Willamette Water Supply Program (WWSP) water pipeline and sewer project allowed various local governments to all save money and minimize disruption to the public by utilizing one contractor and sharing common costs, such as contractor mobilization, traffic control, permitting, project design, right-of-way acquisition and environmental protections that all three projects would have incurred if performed separately.

The Willamette Water Supply Program, a partnership between the Tualatin Valley Water District (TVWD) and the City of Hillsboro, installed nearly 3,000 feet of 66-inch diameter pipeline that is the first completed section of 30 miles of large-diameter water-supply pipeline from Wilsonville to Hillsboro and Beaverton.

The pipeline is made of half-inch thick steel with welded joints, a cement mortar lining inside the pipe, and a highly durable polyurethane coating on the outside. Future segments of the pipeline are to connect along Boeckman Road to the east and on Kinsman Road to the south of Barber Street.

The City also installed over 3,000 feet of new sewer line in the acquired road right-of-way that is designed to serve the regionally significant Coffee Creek industrial area now under development.

The Coffee Lake wetlands complex adjoins both sides of the Kinsman Road extension. The west side of the new roadway features an extra-wide sidewalk and benches for wildlife and habitat viewing. Fencing along the road and a series of wildlife corridor passages beneath Kinsman Road, including round and box culverts, were constructed to improve safety for both drivers and wildlife.

These details maintain wildlife corridors within an urban landscape and mirror the natural resource protection previously achieved with the Boeckman Road project that also crosses the wetlands.

The project design team was led by OBEC Consulting Engineers, and Emery and Sons Construction Group of Salem managed the construction project. The water-supply pipe was manufactured by Northwest Pipe Co., which specializes in large-diameter steel pipelines.

A total of 90 local jobs are estimated to have been sustained during the course of the 12-month-long project.

Funding for the combined $13.7 million road-sewer-water pipeline project came from City transportation and wastewater system development charges, federal/state funds (U. S. Dept. of Transportation Multimodal Transportation Enhance Program (MTEP) through the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and Surface Transportation Program Urban (STP-U)), and the ratepayers of the TVWD and City of Hillsboro.

 

 

Hillsboro’s new water system is under construction

Hillsboro Tribune, Written by John William Howard Friday, October 06, 2017

“The Willamette Water Supply pipeline will eventually run from Hillsboro to the Willamette River in Wilsonville, supplying water to Hillsboro customers and the Tualatin Valley Water District, which serves more than 200,000 Washington County customers.”

The Willamette Water Supply pipeline is one of the most expensive infrastructure projects in Oregon.

As developers work to the lay the foundation for Oregon’s largest housing development south of town, a second set of crews have been laboring underground to install one of Oregon’s most-costly infrastructure projects.

The Willamette Water Supply pipeline will eventually run from Hillsboro to the Willamette River in Wilsonville, supplying water to Hillsboro customers and the Tualatin Valley Water District, which serves more than 200,000 Washington County customers.

The price tag for the 30-mile pipeline project is around $1.2 billion.

The project will take years to complete, but workers are currently digging a trench for the section of the pipeline slated to pass under Southeast Tualatin Valley Highway and follow Southwest Cornelius Pass Road all the way to Highway 26. On a tour of the site on Monday, a handful of workers in white hard hats scurried around a 48-inch pipe at the bottom of a deep pit south of TV Highway as steel plates plunged into the earth.

A few yards from the pit, a future extension of Cornelius Pass Road winds through the land where 8,000 homes and apartments will be built over the next decade. This is the Reed’s Crossing neighborhood, one of the large developments that make up South Hillsboro.

Hillsboro city officials say the pipeline project is not designed to quench the thirst of South Hillsboro, which is slated for completion around the same time as the pipeline. In June, Hillsboro Water Department Director Kevin Hanway told the Tribune the pipeline will supply water to Hillsboro residents for the next 50 years.

The city selected the mid-Willamette project over ideas to raise the level Hagg Lake and purchasing water from Portland, among other options.

Project officials say laying the pipeline allows the Hillsboro and TVWD to build infrastructure without tearing up newly-built roads, saving millions in construction costs.

“We’re building the pipeline before South Hillsboro is built,” said Andre Tolme, project manager. The project worked with the Oregon Department of Transportation to reconfigure the intersection of Cornelius Pass and TV Highway to cut down on lane closures, limiting the impact on drivers, Tolme said. The project will also coincide with a county widening project of Cornelius Pass Road north of TV Highway.

This is one of several such worksites along the path of the pipeline. In Sherwood, crews are blasting through a hillside to lay pipeline and extend Southwest 124th Avenue. They’ve already tunneled under railroad tracks, and are grinding rock for gravel infill used in other portions of the project.

Steve Clapper, a supervisor with the pipeline project, said crews have been blasting to clear some sections of roadway. The blasted rock is reused as roadbed to save on hauling costs.

“We’re keeping the material on site,” Clapper said.

Here, the pipeline is more than five feet across — tall enough to walk in. Each section of the pipe is 50 feet long, weighing in at 20,000 pounds. The pieces are welded together with the only joints at valve sections, which according to project officials, will have a better chance of withstanding earthquakes.

The majority of the money spent building the project is staying in the Portland Metro area, a major selling point for the project partners. According to project documents, the partners have spent $41.3 million on the project so far. Most of that has gone to 85 local contractors and businesses. Kerr Contractors is working on the 124th Avenue and South Hillsboro projects, the first two portions of pipeline construction.

Looking ahead

Beginning in 2018, crews are scheduled to continue pipeline extension from TV highway to Southeast Frances Street in Hillsboro. Construction from Southwest Farmington Road is set to begin in 2019.

The longest stretch of the pipeline, a 7.7-mile section southwest of Beaverton, runs from Farmington Road south to Bull Mountain, and should begin construction in 2018.

The project also calls for a water treatment plant and pump station, slated for construction in Sherwood beginning in 2022. Storage tanks will be built near Cooper Mountain Nature Park in Beaverton beginning in 2022, and along with the treatment plant, are among the final scheduled portions of the project set to wrap up in the first quarter of 2026.

Tolme said the project doesn’t call for a new intake facility on the Willamette River. The project can simply expand portions of the current facility, which is located just upriver of the Interstate 5 crossing in Wilsonville.

Read original article in the Hillsboro Tribune

In Tigard’s future, Willamette water could be a must-have

The Times,  Written by Mark Miller, September 12, 2017

“The Tigard City Council expressed interest late last year in becoming a community partner in the Willamette Water Supply Program, a major infrastructure project spearheaded by the Tualatin Valley Water District and the City of Hillsboro.”

Since 1999, Tigard’s city charter has expressly forbid the city from using the Willamette River as a source for its drinking water supply without voter authorization.

But in the future, the president of the Tigard City Council suggested Tuesday, Sept. 12, Tigard may have no other option but to draw from the Willamette River as its water needs grow.

The Tigard City Council expressed interest late last year in becoming a community partner in the Willamette Water Supply Program, a major infrastructure project spearheaded by the Tualatin Valley Water District and the City of Hillsboro. While no formal agreements have been signed yet to make it official, under the terms presented at Tuesday’s meeting, Tigard would purchase a 10 percent share of an expanded water intake on the Willamette River — a capacity of up to 15 million gallons per day (mgd) from which it could draw as needed, once construction is complete, and provided infrastructure is in place to treat and pipe that water to Tigard.

City Councilor John Goodhouse characterized the city’s purchase of a share in the Willamette intake as a “down payment” of a little more than $3 million, which project consultant Dennis Koellermeier — Tigard’s former public works director — said is a substantially smaller investment than what was originally estimated. In other words, by buying in now, Tigard can give itself the option of drawing from the Willamette River in the future.

That option remains a theoretical one unless and until voters either repeal the 1999 charter amendment or vote to explicitly authorize the use of the Willamette River as a drinking water source.

“We still have a charter amendment that disallows the use of Willamette River water by the City of Tigard until we go back out for a vote to possibly change that,” said Mayor John L. Cook. “So that also would have to come at some point in the future.”

Jason Snider, the council president, suggested that necessity could make that an easy choice for voters.

“At some point, it may come to a question of whether we’re going to run out of water or if people are going to approve this,” Snider said.

About two-thirds of Tigard, along with neighboring Durham, King City and unincorporated Bull Mountain, currently receives its water from the Clackamas River, through a partnership project with Lake Oswego that just came online last summer. Tigard’s future plans include a further expansion of that partnership, increasing its current 14 mgd capacity up to 18 mgd.

Even factoring in a 6 mgd contingency source in the form of aquifer recovery and storage wells, though, Tigard officials have said they expect the city to struggle to meet demand within its water service area by the late 2060s, due to projected population growth.

Growth estimates are also what prompted Hillsboro and the Tualatin Valley Water District to embark upon the Willamette Water Supply Program, which carries an estimated total price tag of about $1 billion, one of the costliest infrastructure projects in Oregon history.

Construction work has already begun on the project. It is scheduled to begin supplying Willamette River water to Hillsboro and the Tualatin Valley Water District by 2026.

The Tualatin Valley Water District is the water provider for about one-third of Tigard, in the city’s north and east.

If the joint project comes online as expected, that would mean hundreds of thousands of Washington County residents will be drinking Willamette River water within a decade — joining water customers in Sherwood and Wilsonville who already do so. That could be significant, Koellermeier suggested.

“My view is that by that time, the world will have changed,” Koellermeier said of the point when Tigard may need to seek voter approval to tap the Willamette. “A good share of Washington County will now be using Willamette River water. There will be good experiences there.”

Some of those county residents will be Tigard residents as well. The Tualatin Valley Water District is the water provider for about one third of Tigard, in the city’s north and east.

The Tualatin Valley Water District is currently a wholesale customer of the Portland Water Bureau, along with a dozen other water districts and municipalities in the Portland area, including Tualatin.

Tigard bought water from Portland prior to the completion of the Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership, at which point it switched over to the Clackamas River supply.

COURTESY OF THE CITY OF TIGARD - A map shows the area served by Tigard water outlined by a blue dotted line. The area shaded with horizontal bars is the part of Tigard served by the Tualatin Valley Water District.

COURTESY OF THE CITY OF TIGARD – A map shows the area served by Tigard water outlined by a blue dotted line. The area shaded with horizontal bars is the part of Tigard served by the Tualatin Valley Water District.

 

Read original article in the The Times

Boeckman Road Reopens Tuesday; One Week Ahead Of Schedule, Officials Say

The reopening of Boeckman Road marks another step forward for the Kinsman Road Extension Project, which is set to be complete summer 2018.

What are the five biggest things planned for 2017? We asked city officials

New water system, renewing the tax levy and South Hillsboro construction will all be on the city’s radar next year.

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Hillsboro city officials are preparing for 2017, and a new slate of projects on the horizon will require more of a commitment than most New Year’s resolutions if they’re going to be launched next year.

As work continues on construction in South Hillsboro, city officials are setting their sights on several other projects in the next several months, according to city spokeswoman Corinne Weiss.

“Success to us means working together (with residents and area businesses),” Weiss said. “This coming year we have many great opportunities, and of course some challenges, but we will work to maintain excellent services and plan for a bright future for Hillsboro.”

One of the most important initiatives is convincing voters to renew the city’s longstanding local option tax, which is set to expire in 2018. The tax helps pay for police and fire department services and the city’s parks department.

If the city council follows through with city staff’s Dec. 6 recommendation, residents could vote on the tax renewal as early as May 2017.

In the city’s water department, a years-long plan to build a shared water system with Tualatin Valley Water will continue, as crews work to build the Willamette Water Supply Program pipeline, which will draw water from Wilsonville and pump it to Hillsboro.

Project officials anticipate construction at the intersection of Cornelius Pass Road and the Tualatin Valley Highway to begin in the early part of 2017.

A large portion of the 30-mile pipeline will pass through the South Hillsboro development as well, which will also see more construction throughout the year.

Colin Cooper, the city’s planning director, said 2017 will be about tying together community aspirations and the city’s plans.

“A significant focus (of the year) will be on improving mobility and a balance of housing options for community members,” Cooper said.

Some of that work will focus on the continued revitalization of downtown Hillsboro and the future of the former Hank’s Thriftway property, which the city acquired earlier this month. No plans have yet to be announced for the property, but the city is said to be looking at a mix of residential and commercial uses for the site.

The New Year will also mark a new chapter for community areas for leisure, play and relaxation.

“One of the best things about living or working in Hillsboro is our great quality of life, of course made even better by all our fantastic parks, trails and natural areas, fun recreational programs and a healthy and growing arts and culture scene,” said Parks & Recreation Director Dave Miletich. “In 2017, we will continue to offer great things, and new plans include opening the Orenco Woods Nature Park, developing a plan for the city-wide Crescent Park Greenway and creating a Community Cultural Arts Strategic Plan.”

While the Orenco Woods Nature Park will open in February, the Crescent Park Greenway is still in the planning stages.

Envisioned as a natural greenway loop, wrapping 16 miles around the city, Crescent Park will be a collection of natural areas, parks and trailheads connected by “linear greenspace,” Weiss said.

To help inform the plan’s details, city officials throughout the year will invite residents to community events to view content developed by city staff and note areas of interest.

“Proactive outreach and communication are essential to our ability to deliver great services to the community and to plan innovative, effective solutions to challenges we face as a growing community,” Weiss said.

Part of that outreach includes continuing to build on the city’s commitment to its youth, Weiss said.

“From providing School Resource Officers, to maintaining the sports fields at our high schools, to partnering on safe routes to schools, to helping support (Hillsboro School District) events and programs, such as the College and Career Pathways Program, the city remains committed to working together to give our students the best chance for success,” Weiss said, also noting the community events put on by the city, such as Celebrate Hillsboro, Pix on the Plaza, and OrenKoFest.

“In 2017, we will build on our efforts to engage with our diverse residents, partners, and businesses in creative ways, so that the Hillsboro community can continue to grow great things together.”

Read original article in the Hillsboro Tribune