WaterWorks | July 2012    


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In this issue:
Construction update

 Monitoring water in Johnson Creek

 Trail work includes ADA-accessible of Dogwood Trail
 Meet the Team:
Ken Fornter

Bring your own drinking water for yourself and pets

Summer concerts move to Parklane Park

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FortnerMeet the Team

Ken Fortner

Ken Fortner is the Senior Construction Manager assigned to the Powell Butte project. As an engineer with CH2M-Hill, Ken serves in a unique role in that he supervises Portland Water Bureau field staff assigned to construction management and technical support functions. This arrangement allows Teresa Elliott, overall reservoir project manager and principal engineer at the Water Bureau, to support staff working on design, permitting, public information, and other project administration tasks.


"CH2M Hill has encouraged and supported implementation of some new project management tools for this project that are somewhat different from the usual Water Bureau work approaches," said Ken. "This includes tools for document management, scheduling, quality management and collaboration,"


Ken's experience includes serving as construction services program manager on major public works projects in Puerto Rico and Panama. In addition to water and sewer systems, his portfolio includes airports (runway, taxiway, apron, and support facilities), highways, bridges, and water-canal lock design and construction.

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 

Concrete floor poured for reservoir

In May, crews working for contractor SSC Construction began pouring concrete for the first of 209 total 40-foot by 40-foot sections that will make up the reservoir's floor. Workers have now begun to frame the first 25-foot to 30-foot tall reservoir walls. reservoir construction for July 2012 nl Nearby, work continues on the publicly required park improvement facilities - the Maintenance Building, the permanent Caretaker's House, and the Interpretive Center that includes a classroom and restrooms. The City closed access to the park's main parking lot from the end of April to January 2013

monitoringWater quality in Johnson Creek monitored closely 

Protecting nearby Johnson Creek from impacts due to construction activities on Powell Butte has been a top priority for the Portland Water Bureau from day one. Biobags - called "waddles" - and silt fencing placed around the entire site serve to filter water from rain, snow and mountain spring water. Water collected onsite is diverted by channel or pumped into two temporary concrete ponds and four metal temporary tanks - called Baker Tanks - where particulates are settled out. The water is then very slowly metered out through two "check dams" that filter out even more sediments before the water is released to Johnson Creek.


SSC workers maintain all the erosion control and filtering systems daily, while Water Bureau and contractor inspectors monitor and test the water before it enters Johnson Creek and at several points down the creek. This monitoring is also done daily


The contractor is already working to clean and prepare all the filtering systems so they are ready for this fall's rainy season.

trailTrail work includes ADA-accessible leg of Dogwood Trail
Treadwerks trail work 1
Treadwerks owner Kent Howes rakes gravel on Dogwood Trail.
Trail users will benefit from the work done by Treadwerks, a Bend, Oregon-based company, under subcontract to build new trails, repair existing trails, and decommission some of the older trails.

Treadwerks recently completed a new ADA-accessible section of the Dogwood Trail that connects to the 148th Ave Trail and will eventually connect to the Old Holgate Trail in the northeast corner of the park. Open primarily to pedestrian users, the new portion of the trail - about two-thirds of a mile long - has a gentle slope and a hard-packed surface. The trailhead is accessible from the PWB's Vivian Pump Station facility at SE Center Street and SE 144nd Avenue.


To create the ADA-accessible portion of the Dogwood Trail, Treadwerks owner Ken Howes and his crew carefully cut foliage, addressed drainage issues, leveled the ground, laid several types of gravel and compacted it to be a firm, stable surface. The crew cut the trail through the forest so it meanders naturally. It now looks as though it has always been there.


To ensure the safety of all trail users, the Water Bureau and Portland Parks & Recreation asked Treadwerks to prune foliage off trails, cut wider openings in logs that may have fallen across a trail, and realign trail paths to eliminate blind spots that pose a safety conflict, especially for bicyclists, hikers and equestrians.


About six miles of older trails that have been impacted by erosion and are no longer viable are being closed. Six miles of new trail are being created. Treadwerks will also rebuild the Mountain View Finder site.

 temporary public parking lot at SE Holgate Blvd. near SE 136th Ave. is now open and ready for use.
waterBring your own drinking water

All drinking water fountains and hose faucets on the butte are currently shut off during construction. Park visitors are asked to bring their own drinking water so that they and their pets can stay hydrated when using the butte's trails. The park restroom in the parking lot was demolished. Park restrooms are available at the Gates and Vivian parking lots. Notices will be posted in the park when the water service returns, likely in January 2013 when the new Park Center opens to the public.

Concerts continue, but at different location

The free outdoor summer concerts usually held on Powell Butte are moving to another nearby city park - Parklane Park at SE 155th Avenue and SE Main Street in southeast Portland. On August 22, SSC Construction and Knife River Corporation are sponsoring "Lisa and Her Kin," known for down-home Honky Tonkin' country music. At the request of the local neighborhood associations, on August 20, the Portland Water Bureau joins SSC in sponsoring a performance by La Tropikana, a crowd-pleasing horn-fueled Latin dance band. For a complete schedule of Portland Parks & Recreation Concerts in the Park, visit at http://www.portlandonline.com/parks.


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