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 ourreliablewater.org.

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