Force Avenue Pump Station Project

Sewer and Stormwater
Active
Environmental Services is designing a project to remodel the 48-year-old Force Avenue Pump Station in North Portland. Increased pumping capacity will accommodate growth and future demands on the sewer system. Improved reliability, access, and safety will protect public health and the environment.
Design continues. Construction of the new pump station is anticipated to begin in March of 2024 and take up to a year and a half to complete.
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The Force Avenue Pump Station was built in 1974. It pumps sewage and stormwater from North Portland to the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant. Its service area includes Hayden Island, Tomahawk Island, and 2,130 acres of primarily industrial and commercial zoned areas, with some multifamily residential areas.

Project Area

The project area includes both sides of N Force Avenue between N Expo Road and N Victory Boulevard.

Design Update

Environmental Services continues to explore the feasibility of relocating the existing Force Avenue Pump Station to the Portland Expo Center property across the street. The project design process includes ongoing coordination with the Expo Center and its governing body, the Metropolitan Exposition and Recreation Commission (MERC). 

In addition, Environmental Services is working through land use and permitting requirements with other City bureaus to ensure that the design, layout, and operation of the pump station will meet requirements and accommodate future development. 

What's Happening Now

Environmental Services is preparing to replace an air release valve on a levee along the Columbia Slough Trail near the Heron Lakes Golf Course. Construction is tentatively planned for September or October of 2022 and will take up to a month to complete. 

The air release valve is located along the Columbia Slough Trail at a point east of Moore Island and across from an access road off N Cottonwood Street:

  • Construction will require closing the Columbia Slough Trail to pedestrians and bicyclists for approximately one day. 
  • The closure will likely be from N Denver Avenue to the Columbia Slough bridge by the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Learn more about air release valves below. 

Design continues for the Force Avenue Pump Station. Construction is anticipated to begin in March of 2024 and take up to a year and a half to complete. 

What to Expect

Air Release Valve Replacements 

In addition to several pump station improvements, the Force Avenue Pump Station Upgrade Project will require the replacement of two air release valves (ARV) at the following locations:

  1. On a levee along the Columbia Slough Trail near the Heron Lakes Golf Course.
  2. Before the entrance sign to the Heron Lakes Golf Course at Force Avenue.

The first ARV is located along the Columbia Slough Trail at a point east of Moore Island and across from an access road off N Cottonwood Street. Construction is tentatively planned for August of 2022 and will take up to a month to complete:

  • Construction will require closing the Columbia Slough Trail to pedestrians and bicyclists for approximately one day.
  • The closure will likely be from N Denver Avenue to the Columbia Slough bridge by the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The second ARV location is just before the entrance sign to the Heron Lakes Golf Course at Force Avenue. Replacement of this ARV will occur during construction of the new pump station:

  • The ARV construction will not interfere with Heron Lakes Golf Course operations or events, because the vault will be located in the rough.
  • A fence around the work site will protect the public.
  • There may be traffic delays when construction is within the narrow part of the Force Avenue roadway.

Environmental Services is coordinating with the Army Corps of Engineers, the Multnomah County Drainage District, and the Parks Bureau to obtain any necessary permits to access the sites and replace the air release valves.

What are air release valves?

Air release valves are installed at points in a pipeline where air naturally collects. The trapped air can cause pump failures, corrosion, flow issues, and surges of water and pressure. Unnecessary air in the pipeline also makes the pump station work harder, consuming more energy.

An air release valve continually releases excess air out of the system and into the atmosphere, resulting in smooth and efficient operation. Once installed, it operates automatically. Odor treatment will be provided through carbon cannisters, which are reliable and easy to maintain.

Extreme Weather

When high temperatures, extreme heat, near freezing temperatures, or extreme cold are in the weather forecast, crews may adjust schedules to protect workers from the dangers of heat stress and cold stress. When working in extreme weather environments, all City workers, contractors, and subcontractors must follow Oregon’s OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) mandates and Environmental Services’ Heat Illness Safety and Health Plan and its Cold Stress Safety and Health Plan. You may see crews taking more frequent water and rest breaks, stopping work at noon, and taking other protective measures during extreme weather.

Project Background

Environmental Services determined the feasibility of expanding or relocating the existing pump station and evaluated three options for the layout. Two were expansions on the existing Force Avenue site, and one was a relocation to the Portland Expo Center property across the street. 

Environmental Services determined that moving the pump station to the Expo Center property is the best option to provide the most cost-effective and suitable location to accommodate the pump station upgrade. The Expo Center and its governing body, the Metropolitan Exposition and Recreation Commission (MERC), continue to engage with the City of Portland on this design plan.

Four years of extensive analysis have included the following activities:

  • Assessment of existing pump station’s condition and operation.
  • Preliminary design evaluations of pump station layout options.
  • Survey of area properties and a wetlands delineation study.
  • Geotechnical investigations, plant analysis, and groundwater monitoring.
  • Review of zoning changes and their implications.
  • Initiation of land acquisition and permit process.
  • Coordination with the Expo Center, MERC, and other community stakeholders.

Pump Station Improvements 

Environmental Services continues to study design options for the following pump station improvements:

  • Replace existing pumps and equipment with new submersible pumps in a new wet well.
  • Make the new structure earthquake resistant.
  • Increase wet well capacity to accommodate future development.
  • Replace existing generator shed with a new electrical control systems building.
  • Replace outdated mechanical, electrical, and control equipment and systems; locate the new systems in the above ground, electrical control systems building.
  • Replace two air release valves, which will include odor treatment.
  • Improve pump station access for operations and maintenance.
  • Install metal wire mesh security fencing around the pump station area.
  • Develop a permanent easement for the upgraded facility.
  • Provide landscaping, including native shrubs and trees, around the pump station.
  • Demolish the existing pump station after the new one is completed. 
  • Restore the existing pump station site to a natural wetland. 

We Want to Hear from You

Environmental Services will work directly with the community and affected property owners, businesses, and event centers throughout the course of the project. Community outreach staff will listen to your suggestions and respond to your concerns:

  • Visit this project webpage periodically for updates.
  • With questions or comments, contact Cheryl Kuck by email or phone 503-823-7898. 
  • Please let us know if you have concerns such as business operations, special event schedules, access routes, or other concerns.
  • If you have a question about the project, be sure to include your name, property address, business name, and project name (Force Avenue Pump Station) in your voicemail and email so we can provide you more details about what to expect related to your property. Also, please write “ForceAvePS” in the subject line of your email. 
  • If your basement sewer backs up or your property or street floods, please report it immediately to the City’s Maintenance Operations hotline at 503-823-1700. It is staffed 24/7, all hours and all days.

Sign Up for Updates

Sign up for periodic email or text message updates for the Force Avenue Pump Station Upgrade Project through our free GovDelivery subscription service. These updates are the best way to stay informed about what’s happening and what to expect. You can also sign up for bulletins on other projects and topics. 


This project will help protect the health of the Columbia Slough Watershed.


Contact

Cheryl Kuck

Community Outreach
phone number503-823-7898Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
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