In the News

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.

Hillsboro Water Department Celebrates National Infrastructure Week, Ongoing Pipeline Projects

The Willamette Water Supply Program is just one example of Hillsboro’s commitment to supporting water infrastructure.

By Travis Loose (Patch Staff) – May 16, 2017 1:48 pm ET

HILLSBORO, OR — Officials with the city’s Water Department on Monday announced the City of Hillsboro’s support and participation in national Infrastructure Week, which from May 15 to May 19 asks city governments across the country to advocate for local projects that support the roads, bridges, railways, energy systems, and utilities used by U.S. residents every day.

In Hillsboro, water utilities have been a priority for years, with past city leaders showing foresight by implementing plans decades ago that have not only benefitted Hillsboro residents today but also laid the groundwork for improvement projects that will support residents well into the future.

One example of Hillsboro’s penchant for forward thinking investments is the Willamette Water Supply Program (WWSP), a drinking water infrastructure project that has brought the Tualatin Valley Water District (TVWD) and City of Hillsboro together to construct a 30-mile, large diameter water pipeline from the mid-Willamette River at Wilsonville to North Hillsboro, near Bethany.

“This major water infrastructure project spans across five cities in Washington County, including Wilsonville, Tualatin, Sherwood, Beaverton, and Hillsboro,” Willamette Water Supply Program Director Dave Kraska said in a statement on April 25. “We have divided the work up into smaller pieces over several years. This allows and provides local and regional businesses of all sizes an opportunity to be a part of this historic project that will benefit the local economy, provide jobs, and support regional economic development.”

Continue reading Hillsboro Water Department Celebrates National Infrastructure Week, Ongoing Pipeline Projects

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.


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

Pipeline work won’t disrupt traffic this year

An extension of Kinsman Road is under construction, with the pipeline planned for its right-of-way

The first pieces of the Willamette Water Supply Program (WWSP) pipeline have been laid in the Kinsman Road Extension project.

Created by the Tualatin Valley Water District (TVWD) and the City of Hillsboro, the WWSP is going to tap into the mid-Willamette River at Wilsonville to create additional water supply source for the TVWD and Hillsboro. Although the pipeline will run through Wilsonville, the City of Wilsonville won’t be paying for construction or using the water. The City is, however, partnering with WWSP and funding the $8.3 million Kinsman Road Extension. Negotiations with the WWDP about compensation for the use of the Wilsonville water treatment plant and for other inconveniences the City will undergo are ongoing.

Design for the WWSP started in January 2014 and has been in various phases of design with construction starting in 2016. Despite the City of Tualatin opting out in August and the City of Beaverton still deliberating if they want to be involved in the project, the first steps in the regional water system partnership to supply additional water to the area are underway.

Starting with its intake source at the Wilsonville water treatment plant in the mid-Willamette, the nearly 30-mile stretch of mostly 66-inch diameter water pipeline will have water storage tanks and water intake improvements to the existing water treatment plant.

The construction project began in July with work to extend Kinsman Road, combining existing infrastructure projects to help minimize congestion and reduce expenditures by not having multiple construction crews and management agencies, according to WWSP Media and Community Relations Coordinator Marlys Mock.

For the Kinsman project, a nearly half-mile extension of Kinsman Road, north of Barber Street to Boeckman Road, is set to improve north-south access, improve freight and residential mobility and add bike lanes, sidewalks and nature crossings.

While roadway infrastructure is being added, an upsized sanitary sewer pipe as well as a section of the WWSP water pipeline will be installed in the right-of-way. The estimated $8.3 million Kinsman project is being funded by the City of Wilsonville with partial federal aid assistance from the Federal Highway Administration, providing $3.6 through a combination of two federal grants.

“This cost includes design, property acquisition, permitting and construction for the roadway project,” Civil Engineer Zach Weigel said. “The project also includes upsizing and relocation of a sanitary sewer pipe at an additional total estimated cost of $1.4 million of which no federal grant money is included.”

One of the City’s WWSP project advisors, Mike Kohlhoff, said that the City is still in negotiations with the WWSP about compensation for the use of the water treatment plant and for other inconveniences the City will undergo. Kohlhoff said that they hope to reach an agreement by the end of the year but that there is no set timeline.

Whatever the negotiated figure comes out to be, according to Mock, the project is taking advantage of every cost-cutting measure available without sacrificing quality, including using Portland-based Northwest Pipe Company. By using the local company, the project is saving trucking costs while hauling the 66-inch pipes, benefitting the local economy.

Although the WWSP is priced in total at $1.2 billion, Wilsonville taxpayers shouldn’t be concerned about their taxes increasing.

“It’s not paid by taxes at all,” Mock said. “The project is funded by ratepayers in the TVWD and City of Hillsboro service district area and there’s going to be a bond spread out over time.”

Read original article in the Wilsonville Spokesman


City, water district officials celebrate pipe installation

The Willamette Water Supply Program saw its first bit of tangible progress this month, bringing one step closer the Willamette River-sourced secondary water supply for Hillsboro and the Tualatin Valley Water District service.

The primary source of water for Hillsboro is the Tualatin River, fed by the Hagg Lake and Barney reservoirs.

On Oct. 10, officials with the project, in coordination with engineers working on the Kinsman Road Extension in Wilsonville, installed the initial stretch of pipeline in the right-of-way as part of the city’s Kinsman Road construction project — a nearly half-mile long road extension with bike lanes and sidewalks north of Barber Street to Boeckman Road.

“This is a historic moment toward the completion of the Willamette Water Supply System,” said Program Director Dave Kraska. “Installing this first pipe is the beginning of following through on the vision and good planning taken by TVWD and the city of Hillsboro over the years. It is a big step forward in making this important regional reliable drinking water supply a reality.”

The Willamette Water Supply Program is a partnership between the city of Hillsboro and TVWD to bring water to ever-expanding Washington County.

Tualatin Valley Water District serves about 22,000 residents in Washington County from Hillsboro to Beaverton and Tigard. When finished, the project is expected to supply water to more than 300,000 residents and some of the state’s largest employers for the next 100 years.

The project will take a decade to complete, with several portions of the project to be installed as areas work on previously planned road construction.

According to project officials, the Kinsman Road construction represents one of many coordinated, combined construction partnership opportunities along the 30-mile water pipeline’s route, which will ultimately result in significant cost savings for water ratepayers by eliminating the need for multiple construction projects.

Marlys Mock, the project’s spokeswoman, said officials are constantly looking for ways to improve the pipe’s final route — while working with each of the projects’ engineers — in an effort to prevent costly projects from becoming even more so as a result of incorporating the pipe’s construction.

This was evident in a recent pipeline route alteration on Cornelius Pass Road in Hillsboro.

“The Cornelius Pass Road change eliminates the previous 205th/206th (Avenue) ‘bump out,’ which will decrease the route length and the number of stream crossings,” Mock told the Tribune.

“The revised route will also save construction time and project cost. Through careful evaluation of the proposed routing we are creating a more efficient, cost effective and less intrusive project.”

A second alteration, along the Tualatin-Sherwood route near Sherwood, was made to protect natural resources in the area, said Mock.

“The (new) route also takes advantage of possible opportunity projects — lessening traffic impacts along the busy Tualatin-Sherwood Road by combining efforts with Washington County,” Mock said, “which is (also) planning road improvements along the preferred pipe alignment.”

The next stick of pipe will be laid in conjunction with the 124th Avenue Extension Project — an interim two-lane road between Tualatin-Sherwood and Grahams Ferry roads. The project, which Mock anticipates will begin in November, will also construct safety improvements on Tonquin and Grahams Ferry roads.

Completion of the Kinsman project is projected for late 2017, and late 2018 for the 124th Avenue project.

For more information on the Willamette Water Supply Program, the pipeline’s route, or the partnered construction projects, visit

Read more:

Tapping Willamette River Drinking Water

The first pieces of pipe for the Willamette Water Supply are installed, marking a significant milestone for the regional water system partnership between the Tualatin Valley Water District (TVWD) and City of Hillsboro as pipeline construction is now underway.

“This is a historic event,” said Dave Kraska Program Director. “Installing this first pipe brings to life the vision and good planning taken by TVWD and the City of Hillsboro over the years. It is the first of many pieces of pipe that will stretch across Washington County, creating a regional, reliable and resilient drinking water supply.”

The system includes about 30 miles of mostly 66-inch diameter water pipeline, water storage tanks, water intake improvements on the mid-Willamette River at Wilsonville, and a water treatment plant. The first pieces of pipe were installed on the Kinsman Road Partnership Project by crews from Emery & Sons Construction Group based out of Salem, Oregon. The City of Wilsonville, with partial federal aid assistance from the Federal Highway Administration, is constructing the project. Collaboration on the cost-saving opportunity project began in July with work to extend Kinsman Road. Partnering on existing infrastructure projects helps minimize traffic and construction impacts to the nearby community, and saves money by sharing construction and project management costs among agencies. Pipe for this project is being produced by Northwest Pipe Company, based in the Portland area. Local production of the large-diameter pipe will save the Project and ratepayers in trucking costs, and benefits the local economy.

Two other projects along the pipeline route are underway, including a partnership with Washington County for work on the 124th Avenue Partnership Project, which extends SW 124th Avenue north from Wilsonville to Tualatin-Sherwood Road, and initial work on the South Hillsboro Pipeline Project, the portion of the pipeline to be installed in coordination with the extension of Cornelius Pass Road through the new South Hillsboro development.

The mid-Willamette River at Wilsonville will be the new water supply source for the Willamette Water Supply System. Although current demands are met through other sources, the addition of a new source will provide improved water supply reliability and system resiliency. Developing an additional water supply through a partnership supports the region’s plans for responsible growth within the urban growth boundary. The earthquake-resilient system is on schedule to deliver water by 2026. For more information about the Willamette Water Supply Program, visit or call 503-941-4570.

Read more:

New water system aims to bring second source to Hillsboro by 2026

Written by ,

“Known as the Willamette Water Supply Program, the city and TVWD plan to build a joint-water system by 2026, which would draw water from the Willamette River in Wilsonville for the two water providers.”

Local officials are calling it the largest capital infrastructure project in Oregon’s history.

Priced at $1.2 billion, a new 30-mile-long water pipeline stretching from Wilsonville to Hillsboro is currently in the works, and is expected to become a new source of drinking water for more than 400,000 people in Washington County who count on Tualatin Valley Water District and the city of Hillsboro to keep their taps running.

Known as the Willamette Water Supply Program, the city and TVWD plan to build a joint-water system by 2026, which would draw water from the Willamette River in Wilsonville for the two water providers.

Much of the cost of the project is paid for by ratepayers. Water rate increases in both Hillsboro and TVWD — which provides water to about 1/3 of Hillsboro’s residents — were approved over the past few weeks.

Hillsboro gets its water from the Tualatin River and Hagg Lake, but that won’t be able to sustain Hillsboro’s expected population boom over the next several years. The city is likely to become Portland’s second largest suburb within 20 years and city planners have said they need to find additional water to meet demand.

“The Tualatin River Watershed has been, and will continue to be, a reliable drinking water source for Hillsboro,” said city water department spokeswoman Tacy Steele. “However, the addition of the mid-Willamette River as a second source will not only provide additional water needed to meet projected growth in the region, but will also bring added value to existing customers by reducing risks associated with dependency on a single source during emergency events.”

It was, in fact, emergency concerns related to the long-predicted Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake that prompted the pipeline discussion in the first place.

In 2008, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released the results of its seismic assessment of Scoggins Dam at Hagg Lake. The bureau determined that a large-scale subduction zone earthquake off the Oregon Coast could cause total dam failure.

Knowing a greater supply of water would be needed as more new residents move to the county, a long-term plan to seismically improve and raise the dam was briefly considered, Steele said. But because working with the federal government — which owns the land on which the dam sits — can often take more time, funding requirements dictated the city and TVWD move sooner on seeking a solution.

A plan to dig new wells was thrown out, along with the possibility of becoming a wholesale water customer of Portland. After roughly three years of studies and community outreach, city and TVWD officials opted on partnering to create an entirely new system: the 30-mile Willamette Water Supply pipeline.

“Hillsboro currently only has one source (of water),” said Marlys Mock, spokeswoman for the Willamette Water Supply Program. “If something were to happen to the Hagg (Lake) source, you’re kind of stuck. Having the additional source is huge.”

In May, Hillsboro staff worked with city officials in Salem to negotiate the purchase of a portion of Salem’s mid-Willamette water right near Wilsonville — a deal that cost Hillsboro $16.2 million.

With the water source secured, city and TVWD staff began working with cities between Hillsboro and Wilsonville to find opportunity projects to piggyback onto for organizing construction.

The first two projects that will see actual pipeline put in the ground will occur during unrelated road work already planned at Southwest 124th Avenue in Tualatin and at Southwest Kinsman Road in Wilsonville later this year.

Other pipeline and road improvement projects in King City, Beaverton and Hillsboro are expected to follow over the next 10 years, along with construction of a new water treatment plant and storage facilities near Cooper Mountain in Beaverton.

“Owning your home or car, instead of renting, gives you more control over your property and is less expensive in the long run,” said Cousins with TVWD. “That’s really what TVWD is trying to achieve through the Willamette Water Supply Program. Ownership of our primary water source assures the district’s customers of a reliable, long-term water supply that is going to be more affordable over time.”

Read original article in the Hillsboro Tribune

New Ridgewood View Park Reservoir quenching water demand

Up to 8 million gallons of water sits perched above the northbound lanes of Highway 217 just south of the Sunset Highway interchange.

By design, however, this perch is anything but precarious.

The Tualatin Valley Water District is wrapping up construction on the state-of-the-art Ridgewood View Park Reservoir and Pump Station, built to withstand a catastrophic earthquake and keep on delivering drinking water from its hilly neighborhood throughout the sprawling district.

“It’s built to last at least 100 years,” said Nick Augustus, TVWD’s project manager.

The $30 million project includes rebuilding and improving Ridgewood View Park, which sits alongside the water reservoir and even uses its surface for tennis and pickleball courts.

The new reservoir and pump station have been in operation since last month and the park should be finished before its West Slope neighbors and the wider community gather Sept. 20 to celebrate the project’s completion.

The project took two years to build and replaced a 5 million gallon tank that had been at the site since the early 1970s, when the Wolf Creek Water District served the area before a later merger created TVWD. The project also replaces a nearby pump station and added more than a mile of 24-inch welded steel pipe that ties it into the existing water system.

The original tank’s ceiling beams were beginning to fail when the district took that reservoir out of service in late 2011 and began planning its replacement, Augustus said.

The larger tank has five sides so that the district could increase storage capacity but still stay within existing property lines, he added. From there, the reservoir can take in water from current and future sources and deliver up to 11 million gallons a day — more than its entire capacity.

The sophisticated pump station is fully automated and equipped with valves to receive and distribute water under vastly different amounts of pressure in the hilly region, Augustus said. A backup generator will keep the water flowing during power outages. One of the largest nearby customers is Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, where the need for water during emergencies is critical.

Bringing the larger reservoir and pump station online will help the district keep up with demands in the growing district, especially during periods of increased water usage like those the district saw during the exceptionally hot summer of 2015.

“This will definitely help with that,” Augustus said.

The Ridgewood View project has been awarded the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s Envision rating system’s Gold Award for its sustainable design. The water and park districts were the first in Oregon to receive this award for building environmentally friendly features into the project, including large rain gardens that collect and filter natural runoff from atop the massive reservoir.

The Ridgewood View reservoir is the most costly project in TVWD history, but it’s a record that is not expected to stand long.

The district and partners are in the process of planning a much larger Willamette Water Supply Program, which includes a massive amount of infrastructure including two new 15 million gallon reservoirs on Cooper Mountain, where the water delivery system takes advantage of gravity.

Even before construction of the Willamette project ramps up fully, TVWD is starting to plan for a new project to replace another aging 5 million gallon reservoir. That tank is on Southwest Grabhorn Road, also in the Cooper Mountain area south of Aloha.

Such projects are designed to increase the capacity and reliability of the district’s water system, but they come with a cost.

Last week, the district’s board of directors approved a rate increase that will add about $10 to a typical residential customer’s bimonthly water bill, the district’s funding source for such infrastructure improvements, said district spokesman Alex Cousins.

Ridgewood View Park improvements

During the two-year construction project, Ridgewood View Park has been torn up and closed to the public.

That will change in the coming weeks as workers put the final touches on the park property, those changes coming largely at TVWD’s expense for taking the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District facility out of service.

The new park that opens later in September will show vast improvements from the old one that was most recently open in 2014. The enhancements were based in large part on community requests, Cousins said.

The new park again will have tennis courts with a commanding view from atop the water reservoir, but now, those courts also will accommodate a couple of games of pickleball on courts that overlap one of the tennis courts. (Players must bring their own pickleball nets and other equipment.)

At ground level, the new park will feature a much larger playground, including a larger structure on a safer SMARTE artificial surface and a more natural play area that uses boulders and logs from the project site.

One of the most anticipated additions is a new bocce court near the entrance. The Italian ball sport is gaining followers across the Portland area, where courts can be tough to come by. THPRD also is developing more bocce courts elsewhere to help meet this demand.

There also is a new covered picnic structure, a seasonal portable toilet, a nicer parking area off Southwest Ardenwood Street, and an improved trail system through the woods, connecting with Ridgewood Elementary School to the south. A new bridge spans a periodic creek that collects rain runoff during storms and is known as Ephemeral Stream.

“The redeveloped park gives the neighborhood a wider variety of amenities,” said Bob Wayt, spokesman for THPRD. “We realize the lengthy closure of the park was an inconvenience, but we hope the neighbors will agree the wait was worth it.”

Project Celebration

The Tualatin Valley Water and Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation districts are inviting the community to celebrate the completion of a new water reservoir and pump station and the reopening of an improved Ridgewood View Park.

When: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20

Where: 10001 SW Ardenwood St., just east of Highway 217 and south of U.S. 26 (use street parking or park at Ridgewood Elementary School)

What: Pump station tours at 5:30 p.m., dedication at 6 p.m., food catered by nearby 808 Grinds (Hawaiian café), kids’ activities, sports demonstrations and more.


County, city officials usher in new era with South Hillsboro dedication

“Along with the road and power grid infrastructure, the new area will also need water pipes, with one of the main ones being the Willamette Water Supply, a 66-inch pipe extending from Wilsonville to Highway 26, passing right through South Hillsboro.”

A monstrous project two decades in the making is finally under way.

Though groundwork in South Hillsboro began earlier, roughly 100 people — Washington County and city officials and developers — celebrated at the SoHi groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, Aug. 9.

When the dust settles years from now, more than 20,000 residents will inhabit roughly 8,000 new housing units on 1,400 acres of what will be a new Hillsboro community the size of a small city between Southwest 229th and Southwest 209th avenues, just south of the Tualatin Valley Highway.

“I’ve been driving by this property for 20 years knowing this will be developed,” said Mayor Jerry Willey. “To actually see something come out of the ground over the next year is really spectacular.”

The South Hillsboro project is huge, with several different organizations and agencies joining forces to see it through.

There are the three main developers to start (Pahlisch Homes, Newland Communities and Hagg Lane LLC.), the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Bonneville Power Administration, the Willamette Water Supply Program, Washington County and Union Pacific and Portland & Western railroads — just to name a few.

“This is really a partnership,” said Washington County Commission Chairman Andy Duyck. “South Hillsboro is not a typical community.”

If both the county and city hadn’t come together to plan for its infrastructure needs, Duyck said Tuesday, the project would not have happened.

Proactively addressing the $140 million in traffic improvement needs was key, he said.

Along with the road and power grid infrastructure, the new area will also need water pipes, with one of the main ones being the Willamette Water Supply, a 66-inch pipe extending from Wilsonville to Highway 26, passing right through South Hillsboro.

“It was kind of important we put the pipeline in at the same time we put the road in,” Willey said.

With an estimated completion date of 2026, the first stick of pipe will be laid in September, according to water supply program director David Kraska.

“These projects take a long time to get done,” he said. “Nothing’s easy.”

The Bonneville Power Administration will need $2.7 million to raise low-hanging power lines; the county and city will have to coordinate with both ODOT and the railroad companies to build one rail crossing at Cornelius Pass Road, improve the crossing at 209th Avenue and cul-de-sac the crossing at 229th Avenue; new schools, new parks and 15 miles of new walking and bike trails will also be constructed; and the three main developers will have to coordinate building all the new roads and land plots at the same time.

“Here we are after all these years,” said Hagg Lane owner Joe Hanauer. “It’s exciting.”

Hagg Lane will be the principle developer for the Butternut Creek community, set for land Hanauer has owned for more than 20 years.

“I’ve held this land longer than any other developers … and remained committed to the notion that this complete community could work,” he said. “Once the building season starts in 2017, we can start our improvements.”

Hanauer believes residents will start moving into their new Butternut Creek homes as early as spring 2018.

Newland Communities vice president of operations Jesse Lovrien echoed Hanauer’s estimation that homes in Reed’s Crossing, Newland’s community in South Hillsboro, will also be on the ground in early 2018.

“We spent a lot of time building unity with the other developers,” Lovrien said. “It takes a lot of energy getting coordinated … but we’re going to continue working well together going forward.”

“Developers get accused of creating burdens on a community,” said Dennis Pahlisch, founder and owner of Pahlisch Homes. “But the current taxpayers in Hillsboro are not funding this expansion area. Our staff worked hard to balance all that.”

Also working hard is the Hillsboro School District, which has 90 acres in South Hillsboro reserved for three new elementary schools and one middle school. A new high school could potentially land just to the south of the new development, outside the urban growth boundary, according to Superintendent Mike Scott.

“We’re extremely excited about the opportunities before us,” Scott said, noting an estimated 4,000 new students could enter the school system after the project’s completion. “Don’t be surprised if there’s a bond (for additional funding).”

But that — along with plenty of others regarding police and fire service — will be a future question for Hillsboro residents, who will now watch the city’s southern portion grow before their very eyes over the next several years.

“It’s the result of well more than a decade of collaboration with hard working people,” Willey said. “The demand (for housing) is high and in short supply. This is obviously the place for 20,000 new Hillsboro residents.”

Read original article in the Hillsboro Tribune