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Gresham trestle upgrades

Construction type
Project status

This project will strengthen the structural supports (known as trestles) that hold a water pipe near Kelly Creek and Beaver Creek in Gresham.

Fall 2020 to spring 2022 (vegetation monitoring continues through 2024)
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Project overview

Not if, but when... You’ve heard about our region’s earthquake risks. The Water Bureau has worked for the past several decades to increase the number of water supply facilities that can withstand earthquakes. The Gresham trestle replacement project is part of our commitment to preparedness and our mission of serving excellent water every minute of every day.

This project will strengthen the structural supports (known as trestles) that hold the water pipe that runs along Kelly Creek in Gresham. Both the pipe and trestles were installed here in 1911. The pipe is in good condition, but the trestles might not endure a large earthquake or heavy flooding. The work we're doing will make Portland’s and Gresham’s water supply more resistant to earthquakes and floods.

As part of the project, we will remove trees and other vegetation to allow equipment to access the trestle. We will then follow an extensive restoration plan developed with the City of Gresham. After construction, crews will landscape the entire lot with native trees and plants that will improve the health of the creek.

This map shows the construction area near Kelly Creek, as well as equipment and personnel entrances on SE La Mesa Court and NE El Camino Drive.

Happening now

We have completed the bidding process and hired Oxbow Construction to perform the work.  

Preparing the work zone

Crews will be on site in the coming months to look at survey markers and set up erosion control and tree protections. They will then remove trees and vegetation from the work site. After that, they will move equipment to the site to drill holes for the new concrete pipe supports. 

Protecting the creek

We know you care about Kelly Creek—we do, too! We worked closely with the City of Gresham to develop a site-specific erosion control and restoration plan. Our crews are required to mark and put protective fencing around specific trees, install erosion control along the stream, and plant native grasses to help stabilize the hillside. We will also remove invasive plants by hand and by spot application of herbicide. When the project is done, we will plant the entire lot (not just the work site) with native trees, shrubs, and grasses.  

What to expect 

  • Work hours: Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

  • Parking: Some on-street parking spaces will be used by employees. Most equipment and supplies will be stored on the construction site, but some may be stored in the street to limit our impact on the creek. 

  • Site access: Crews will access the site from SE La Mesa Court and NE El Camino Drive. Equipment will be brought on site via SE La Mesa Court. 

  • Noise: You will hear noise from chainsaws as trees and vegetation are removed. You will hear machinery when we move excavators on site.  

  • Mail, garbage and delivery services will have access. 

  • This work will not disrupt your water service. 

Work may be delayed if staffing availability or construction resources change due to current events. Employees and contractors will continue to follow all safe work zone and social distancing measures. 

Construction and revegetation schedule

This map shows a 19,380 square foot restoration area along Kelly Creek, including large trees that will be removed and protected as part of the project.

Construction is expected to begin in fall 2020. Please note that the dates listed below may change based on crew availability and weather. 

Winter 2020

  • Site survey    

Spring/summer 2020 

  • Project out to bid 

Fall 2020 

  • Erosion controls and tree protection put in place 
  • Invasive vegetation removal 
  • Tree removal 
  • Native grass seeding 
  • Equipment moved on site, construction begins
Pictures of the different types of grasses that will be used in re-seeding the open space to prevent erosion, including (left to right) Blue wildrye, slender hairgrass, and California brome.
Photos of native grasses that will be used in reseeding the area, including (left to right) blue wildrye, slender hairgrass, and California brome.

Winter 2021 

  • Construction wraps up 
  • Shrub and tree planting 
Images of trees to be planted on site, including (left) cascara, (top right) Western hemlock, and (lower right) Western red cedar.
Trees to be planted during revegetation include cascara (left), Western hemlock (top right), and Western red cedar (lower right).
Photos of native shrubs that will be planted in the area including Snowberry (top) and Thimbleberry (bottom).
Photos of native shrubs that will be planted in the area, including snowberry (top) and thimbleberry (bottom).

Spring 2021 

  • Monitoring plantings to ensure healthy growth 
  • Removal of all erosion controls 

Winter 2022 

  • Ongoing monitoring and maintenance 
  • More planting if needed 


Katy Asher

Senior Communications Specialist

phone number503-865-6054

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

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