On Tuesday, March 3, the preferred pipeline route for the Willamette Water Supply Program was shared with the Tualatin Valley Water District (TVWD) Board of Commissioners. Program partners, TVWD and Hillsboro Water, agreed last week to move the preferred pipeline route to the next round of technical review and continued public engagement. The preferred pipeline route will be shared with the other jurisdictions along the route during the next two months.  The preferred route is more than 30 miles long, from Wilsonville north through Hillsboro and Beaverton.

This favored route is the result of months of work reviewing multiple routes against selection criteria and getting input from staff, policymakers and community members.   “It’s a great step forward—the technical team started with 117 route options, and a combination of criteria-based research and local community feedback has narrowed it down to this preferred option.” explained Todd Heidgerken, interim Program Director for the Willamette Water Supply Program.  “There is still more work to be done. The specifics of the pipeline route are far from final.”  Over the coming year, the Willamette Water Supply Program staff will continue with pipeline planning and design with input from the local jurisdictions.

Although most pipeline construction won’t occur until 2020-2025, it is necessary to start work now to identify and plan for possible opportunities for coordinating construction with roadway and other utility projects. Other ongoing activities include developing a permitting strategy and design standards.

“An example of coordinating with transportation and other utility work is Washington County’s 124th Avenue transportation improvement project.  As part of this project, the first section of the pipe will be under construction this year, which saves customers millions of dollars”, said Heidgerken.

Community briefings on the preferred pipeline route are planned for summer 2015.  Also, this spring, all homes and business within 500 feet of the preferred route will receive information about the next steps of the project, and will be invited to sign up for email updates to stay informed of community briefings and other project milestones.  “Even though the majority of the construction won’t occur until after 2020, we are encouraging people to sign up for our monthly email updates, check out our website, and attend a community briefing to stay informed,” said Heidgerken.  People are encouraged to visit www.OurReliableWater.org to sign up or learn more about the Willamette Water Supply Program.

The water pipeline is part of the Willamette River Water Supply Program being developed through a partnership with TVWD and Hillsboro Water.  The water system will include an expanded Willamette River Water Treatment Plant in Wilsonville, the 30+ mile pipeline, and additional water storage tanks.