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Gresham trestle upgrades

Capital Improvement Project
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 2023 (vegetation monitoring continues through 2024)
Location Description
Powell Valley Neighborhood, Gresham
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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 and Beaver 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 removed trees and other vegetation to allow equipment to access the trestle. Because of this, we developed an extensive restoration plan with oversight from 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 finished strengthening the trestle that holds the water pipe running along Kelly Creek. Crews are now working at a site near Beaver Creek. Completion of this project means that Portland's and Gresham's water supply is now more resistant to earthquakes and floods.

At the beginning of this project, we removed trees and other vegetation to allow workers and equipment to access the trestle. We started re-planting this spring and will continue restoration efforts through 2023.

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.

What to expect

Construction may be complete, but we're sticking around.

Our inspectors will be stopping by a few times over the summer to make sure erosion controls are in place. And, our planting team will be coming by to weed and check on the plants we put in over the winter. We will be back next winter to plant in the construction area. Growing a healthy greenspace will take a little time, but we're committed to leaving Kelly Creek better than we found it.

Employees and contractors will continue to follow all work zone safety and social distancing measures.

Revegetation schedule

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

Map showing restoration areas, including: easement area restoration later this spring (yellow on map), planting temporary cover crop spring 2021, and planting native trees, shrubs and grasses winter 2022 (pink on the map), monitoring and caring for existing plantings through 2024 (green on map)
Restoration plan map
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).

Early summer 2021 

  • Construction wraps up
  • Plant a sterile wheatgrass and place straw over dirt in the construction area and some easement areas to stabilize soil over the dry summer months
  • Monitor existing plantings to ensure healthy growth

Fall 2021

  • Restore easement areas according to agreement with property owners
  • Monitor plantings to ensure healthy growth
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).

Winter 2022 –spring 2024

  • Plant trees and shrubs in the construction area
  • Ongoing monitoring and maintenance
  • More planting if needed in previously planted areas

Image credits



Katy Asher

Senior Communications Specialist

phone number503-865-6054

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

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