Water plant 60 percent complete, Highway 43 pipeline near completion

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Construction at the LOT water plant in West Linn is about 60 percent complete. The plant is still expected to be treating water by summer 2016.Amidst ongoing discussions about the delayed schedule for completion of the Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership (LOT) water plant project in West Linn, the construction process itself continues and the water plant is about 60 percent complete, according to LOT spokesperson Katy Fulton.

The West Linn City Council voted June 8 to hire an attorney for a second opinion regarding the 9-month delay announced by LOT back in January. While that process plays out, a busy summer lies ahead as LOT wraps up work on its Highway 43 pipeline, continues construction at the water plant and begins the installation of a pipeline on Mapleton Drive.

“We’re still on target to pump water (to Lake Oswego and Tigard) by the summer of 2016,” Fulton said. “The plant will be able to produce enough water at that stage this time next year.”

During construction, the plant continues to pump 16 million gallons per day. By next summer, that number will be up to 38 million gallons per day, enough to serve both Lake Oswego and Tigard while also providing an emergency water source for West Linn.

Lake Oswego has operated a water treatment plant at 4260 Kenthorpe Way in West Linn’s Robinwood neighborhood since 1968. In February 2013 the West Linn City Council approved two conditional use permits that would allow LOT to rebuild and expand its current water treatment facility in West Linn and install a larger pipeline.

The plant, which will hold up to 2 million stored gallons of water underground and handle up to 38 million gallons each day, also serves as an emergency backup water supply for West Linn.

The 4-foot diameter pipeline extends 1.9 miles in West Linn, crossing though both residential and commercial areas on Highway 43.

“In terms of Highway 43, right now they’re in the process of finishing disinfection for the pipe,” Fulton said. “The schedule for final paving is to be the week of June 28 — they will start on June 28, going from Mapleton Drive north into Lake Oswego.”

The final paving and striping of the road will take place at night, and is scheduled to last about a month barring any weather delays, according to Fulton.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Pipeline work on Mapleton Drive will begin this summer.

“They will only pave the lane where the pipe was installed,” Fulton said. “It will go beyond the lane in some locations, like when the pipe crosses from one side of the road to the other. In those instances, they will pave wider, but it’s all under (Oregon Department of Transportation) specifications.”

The completion of Highway 43 work in West Linn will come as a welcome relief for drivers, who have frequently complained about poor road conditions causing damage to their vehicles.

“That will be good,” Fulton said. “Once it’s nicely paved, I’m sure it will be a very nice ride for people.”

As pipeline construction on Highway 43 nears its end, another pipeline running from Mary S. Young Park to the treatment plant itself will begin construction on Mapleton Drive. This pipeline will carry “raw,” untreated water from the river over to the water plant, where it will be treated and then sent back out along Mapleton Drive to Highway 43.

“They’ve started some preliminary work, including an auger bore under Trillium Creek,” Fulton said. “They’re required to tunnel under the creek to minimize environmental impacts. ... They’ll tunnel under the creek, create a casing and then put the pipe in.”

This particular phase of the project will also require the relocation of a sewer line to make way for the pipeline. Once that is complete, contractors will begin the installation of the pipeline itself.

“They’re hoping to start next month, and then have (the pipeline) complete in the fall,” Fulton said.

Unlike Highway 43, the work on Mapleton will be done during daytime hours, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. In the preliminary stages, LOT plans to keep one lane of Mapleton Drive open for traffic, but that will change later in the summer.

“Once the work is past the intersection of Nixon Avenue and Mapleton Drive, there will be no through traffic and we will have a detour in place,” Fulton said. She added that safety is a priority as drivers work their way through the Mapleton Drive area.

“We’d like to remind people to drive slowly through construction zones and obey flaggers,” Fulton said. “Safety is our first priority, and we want to make sure people are obeying directions.”

As for the water plant itself, Fulton said the construction timeline for completion has not changed since it was pushed back nine months earlier this year.

The current “Phase B” of the plant construction is scheduled to be complete in spring 2016, with final completion of the plant expected by early 2017.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - A single lane of Mapleton Drive remains open right now, but the road will be closed entirely when the pipeline installation begins later this summer.

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