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  • 30 Sep 2014

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New Powell Butte reservoirs in service

Photo Credit: COURTESY KOIN/PORTLAND WATER BUREAU - An aerial view of the Powell Butte Reservoir in July 2014.Nearly a year behind schedule, the new $138 million Powell Butte Reservoir is now open and fully functional.

Both 25 million gallon tanks of the underground project at Powell Butte are full of water, feeding Portland’s homes and businesses.

Many of the delays in opening the facility were because there were more than 3,000 cracks in the concrete that the contractor had to fix.

The city said the contractor fixed the concrete, and some of the cost of the concrete repairs were included in the bid. Additional costs are being negotiated with the contractor.

One tank opened in July and the second tank opened at the beginning of this month.

“Those hariline cracks that had to be discovered, repaired and then checked, that all took a while so we are behind in our original construction schedule,” said Portland Water Bureau administrator David Shaff. “But as I said, the reservoir is now online.”

The Powell Butte Reservoir is next to another underground reservoir that opened 30 years ago. Work is currently in progress on another underground reservoir at Kelly Butte.

The city said that will be finished in Summer 2015.

The federal government ordered Portland to do away with open-air reservoirs, and work to disconnect those — including three at Mount Tabor — begins early next year.

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