One of the things that makes Washington County special is that we work together to get things done. The Joint Willamette Water Supply Pipeline and Washington County 124th Avenue Extension Project is a prime example of the spirit of partnership and collaboration that define this community. Two different infrastructure projects, by different agencies, became one project as the result of discussions among local governments seeking to work more efficiently on behalf of the county’s residents and businesses.

The first project has been developing over decades in anticipation of planned growth and the need to provide long-term water supplies for future generations. Tualatin Valley Water District and the City of Hillsboro have been working together for many years to develop the Willamette Water Supply System as the next reliable water source for our region. As a result of this teamwork, the Willamette Water Supply System will meet one of Oregon’s most important challenges — designed to supply water to more than 300,000 residents and some of the state’s largest employers for the next 100 years. The effort is ongoing, and over the next several years, local jurisdictions will work together to coordinate all aspects of this large and complex endeavor, including planning, engineering, financing, public outreach and permitting requirements.

The second project, Washington County’s 124th Avenue Extension, includes a $30 million, two-lane arterial between Tualatin-Sherwood and Grahams Ferry roads, with safety improvements to other area roads, resulting in 4.4 miles of new and/or improved roadway. The extension will provide another route connecting Tualatin and Wilsonville, along with access to land designated for future industrial and employment development in Tualatin, Sherwood and Wilsonville. As private development occurs, the road will eventually be widened to five lanes.

At one point in the planning process, it became apparent to everyone involved that these two projects had some common interests and related work that needed to take place in the same right-of-way. Washington County teamed up with the Willamette Water Supply Program to create a combined project that will build the 124th Avenue road extension and lay the water pipeline in the road right-of-way. Eventually, the pipeline will connect to the Willamette Water Supply System that’s currently under design. The partnership will reduce traffic and construction impacts, saving taxpayers and ratepayers millions of dollars.

Last week, Washington County, along with the cities of Hillsboro, Sherwood, Tualatin and Wilsonville, plus TVWD and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, celebrated the spirit of these partnerships. On Nov. 12, the county and the Willamette Water Supply Program broke ground for the 124th Avenue roadway and pipeline project. It was an historic event as we all came together as partners to support our region’s reliable future and continue our long, productive relationships for the benefit of the citizens and businesses of Washington County.

Andy Duyck, Chairman, Washington County Board of Commissioners

Read original article in Beaverton Valley Times