City Council approves plan to build new reservoir at Washington - KPTV - FOX 12

City Council approves plan to build new reservoir at Washington Park

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The Portland City Council approved the $152 million plan that will replace the current Washington Park reservoir with one that is built up to current seismic standards. (KPTV) The Portland City Council approved the $152 million plan that will replace the current Washington Park reservoir with one that is built up to current seismic standards. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

In a unanimous vote, the Portland City Council approved a $152 million contract Wednesday to build a new seismically reinforced reservoir at Washington Park.  

The Portland Water Bureau claims that if a big earthquake were to hit the city now, the current reservoir at Washington Park, which is the hub for water on the West side, would not hold up to the damage.

The project in Washington Park has been years in the making, and stems from federal requirements to cap open air reservoirs. Bureau officials said that the scope of the project has changed, though, as a geo-technical investigation revealed the site to be more complex.

The existing reservoirs were built in the early 1900s, and the bureau notes that they were not built up to current seismic standards.

Officials said the new reservoir will have shoring walls built around it to protect the site from earth movement, along with other measures in place to protect the area from landslides. 

“If we had an earthquake now today, those reservoirs would be non- functional,” Portland Water Bureau director Michael Stuhr said. “When we get done with this reservoir project, the new one will be functional post-quake, so that we can provide water to downtown.”

The bureau also noted that the reservoir will also serve Portland hospitals and schools.

The council voted to accept the contract with a contingency of plus or minus 16 percent. That vote also accepted the bureau’s report to council, with the understanding that the overall project budget is $190 million with a contingency of plus or minus 10 percent.

According to city plans, construction on the reservoir is set to begin in July, but likely won’t be finished until 2023. 

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