Washington Park Reservoir construction updates

Capital Improvement Project
Under Construction
Construction at the Washington Park Reservoir started in 2016 and will continue until 2025. Read on for the most recent update.
Portland Water Bureau construction crews at work
2016 through 2025
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The Water Bureau has replaced its original 1894 reservoirs with a new 12.4-million-gallon, seismically reinforced underground reservoir. This reservoir supplies water to Portland's west side and serves more than 360,000 people, including all downtown businesses and residents, 20 schools, 5 hospital complexes, and more than 60 parks.

Currently we are working to install the reflecting pool and interpretive elements, restore historic structures and open the area to the public for the first time in decades.

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Happening now

Last updated April 15, 2024

  • Excavating and preparing for repaving work along the reservoir; (closure details below)
  • Placing concrete pool walls and seat walls around the reflecting pool
  • Installing a pool liner and constructing a cascading water feature for the reflecting pool
  • Constructing the base of the lowland habitat and rock walls
  • Landscaping the lowland habitat with Oregon river rock mix and preparing the soil for planting
  • Historic window restoration at gatehouses and pump station 
  • Moving mechanical equipment into historic gatehouses to support reflecting pool water recirculation
  • Preparing to close and repave the Madison Drive walking and biking trail

Please note, some construction activities taking place during the warm season will require early morning concrete pours to avoid working in the heat of the day. A noise variance has been approved, allowing work to start at 5 a.m. on days when crews will be pouring concrete.

Stay tuned for a grand celebration in 2025. In the meantime, enjoy this 360-degree panorama view taken from atop of the Reservoir 3 dam.

Portland Water Bureau construction crews at work
Portland Water Bureau construction crews pouring concrete for the reflecting pool.

Repaving SW Madison Drive

A map of Washington Park showing that SW Madison Drive walking and biking trail will be closed from April to August, from SW Sacajawea Boulevard to SW Madison Street.

The Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project is entering a new phase that will require expanded local road closures within the park between late April and early September 2024. This is in addition to existing closures in Washington Park. 

This April, the Madison Drive walking and biking trail will be closed to all traffic within Washington Park, from SW Madison Street to SW Sacajawea Boulevard. The trail closure will last until August.   

The traveling public is reminded to stay alert and use caution. Hikers should follow temporary pedestrian access routes and detours and remain vigilant to changes in traffic patterns around the closure area. Bicyclists should use caution when sharing the road with vehicles around the closure area, and drivers should be on the lookout for bikes in the roadway.  

Additional road closures coming in June.

Getting to Washington Park

Visit the Explore Washington Park website to plan your visit.