WaterWorks | March 2012 

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In this issue:
Construction update

Be careful when crossing roads

"Gates" lot at SE Holgate ready to use

WaterWorks archives

DuffJLAMeet the Team 
Lynn Barlow
Lynn Barlow is the Natural Areas Supervisor for Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R). Her work portfolio includes managing the City of Portland's natural areas and trails east of the Willamette River. Powell Butte Nature Park is by far the largest and most significant in terms of size and habitat.

The Water Bureau's Powell Butte project is unique, says Lynn, due to PP&R's partnership with the Portland Water Bureau, which owns the Powell Butte property.

"We work closely and effectively to balance protection of the butte's more than 600 acres of natural resources with management of the region's water infrastructure," says Lynn. "It's been a very positive relationship."

Multiple agencies and citizens' groups are working together to restore the natural habitat on Powell Butte. PP&R's Protect the Best Crew, Bureau of Environmental Services, school and volunteers groups like Northwest Trail Alliance conduct trail maintenance, invasive species removal and native vegetation planting.

PP&R's City Nature Team reviewed the mitigation plan for the reservoir project throughout the planning process.

Today, Lynn works with her team's ecologist and trail and volunteer coordinators to plan and implement restoration work. The team also supports the park caretaker's efforts by ensuring that the signs at the park's 10 entrances are maintained and by picking up litter.

Learn more
Portland Water Bureau/Powell Butte Reservoir

Portland Parks & Recreation/Powell Butte Nature Park


Friends of Powell Butte

Centennial Neighborhood Association

Pleasant Valley Neighborhood Association

Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association

Northwest Trail Alliance 

Construction Update
Late last year, SSC Construction began preparing Powell Butte for Phase 2 of the Water Bureau's Reservoir 2 project. Since then work has included everything from additional reservoir excavation and laying utility conduits to preparing the sites of the new park buildings.  Pouring concrete for the 50-million gallon reservoir is slated to start this spring.

The Portland Water Bureau awarded the contract for this phase of the project to SSC Construction in May 2011. The bureau issued the first Notice to Proceed in September 2011 and the company began site preparation and erosion control work. The second Notice to Proceed in late November allowed SSC to begin construction of the haul roads, dewatering activities, site improvements and reservoir construction.


Several of SSC's subcontractors are currently on site or gearing up to get to work. Utility work is underway, as is the temporary shoring for the deep vaults that will tie into the water supply conduits, and upgrades to some of the pipe valves. Portland-based Tri-State Construction has been performing the additional excavation of the reservoir (see photo below).Powell Butte dig site feb 2012

Mick Haggerty, SSC Construction project manager, says he anticipates that his company can begin the concrete work in April. 


"We're happy to be collaborating with the Portland Water Bureau on this challenging project," says Mick. "Our shared focus is on erosion control, maintaining public access to the park throughout the project, and trail-user safety."  


SSC Construction started in southern California in the late 1970's. Two years ago, the company established their Pacific Northwest Office in Vancouver, WA, to focus on growing its Northwest operation from within the region, and hiring local professionals as staff and subcontractors. Most of the company's staff and subcontractors are from the local Portland Metro area. 

CarefulBe careful when crossing roads 

Whether you enjoy Powell Butte Nature Park for hiking, biking, or horseback riding, be sure you exercise caution when crossing trail-haul roads intersections within the park at all hours, even when no construction is underway or evident. These roads are not public trails.

 Road construction sign feb 2012

The Portland Water Bureau has made it a priority to keep the park open to the public throughout construction providing it can be done safely. Park visitors should remember that a large portion of the park in the northeast area of the butte is a construction zone with large dump trucks using the roads, including the main access road into the park on SE 162nd Avenue and SE Powell Blvd. Construction in the Park Center area is ready to begin and will be fenced in the next several weeks to separate construction activities from park users. 


Keep your eyes and ears open, stay out of the primary construction zone and obey all trail- and road-closure signs. Pay attention to changes in construction areas throughout the project. Remember that construction areas can be hazardous, so for your safety, please keep out.

 GatesGates parking lot now open

Holgate lotThe temporary public parking lot at SE Holgate Blvd. near SE 136th Ave. is now open and ready for use.


This lot, located on the former "Gates property," has spaces for horse trailers and bus parking as well as cars. A portable toilet has also been installed. 


The lot is a few hundred feet from the Old Holgate trailhead. Portland Police and Water Bureau Security officers will make routine patrols. 


This parking lot is yet another option for visitors to use, especially when the park's main parking lot from SE 162nd Ave. is closed during construction. 


Other temporary parking lots and park entrances are located at:

  • Rose Bowling Center, SE 164th Ave. and SE Powell Blvd.
  • SE Holgate Blvd. near SE 144th Ave.
  • SE 14424 Center St. at SE 143th Ave. 

"Road Closed" signs will be posted when the main parking lot is unavailable.

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The Portland Water Bureau has been producing and distributing WaterWorks since contractors broke ground in late August of 2009. 

This  online newsletter was created to provide monthly news and information about the City of Portland's infrastructure project to construct a second 50-million-gallon underground reservoir inside Powell Butte Nature Park in Southeast Portland. The new facility will help ensure that Portland will have sufficient water storage in the near future.

CONTACT TIM HALL, CITY OF PORTLAND WATER BUREAU | Tim.Hall@portlandoregon.gov | 503.823.6926