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Willamette River Crossing construction updates

Capital Improvement Project
Engineering And Design
The project is in the design phase. We completed a geotechnical probe in August 2020 and additional geotechnical exploration from January to March 2021. Over the next four months, our contractor will fine tune the design so that we can begin construction in summer 2022. 
2016 through 2024
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The Willamette River Crossing Project, which will build an earthquake-resilient water line under the Willamette River, is part of the Water Bureau’s investment in preparedness. The improvements we’re making will enhance our water system’s resilience and reduce future risks, ensuring safe and abundant water for generations to come.

Based on information gathered from a geotechnical probe in 2020 and additional testing in the spring of 2021, we learned that we needed to move the drill path a little shallower and use direct steerable pipe instead of horizontal directional drilling. Over the next four months, our contractor will fine-tune the design so that we can begin construction in summer 2022. 

This graphic shows design work on the project taking place between 2019 and 2022. Construction will begin in mid-2022 and last through 2024. Public Outreach will take place for the entire duration of the project.

We’ve continued to work on critical infrastructure projects like the Willamette River Crossing during the pandemic. Contractors must follow all safe work zone and social distancing measures. Work may be delayed if staffing availability or construction resources change.

Upcoming work

Since we’ve changed the depth of the pipe and made some small changes to the path the pipe will take across the river, we will be sampling soil and locating underground utilities in November and December 2021.

Soil sampling and utility locates

In November and December, crews will be on site to sample soils and verify the locations of underground utilities on both sides of the river. Read below to learn more about impacts in specific areas of town.

Utility location: Crews have completed their work with the hydrovac truck verifying the locations of underground utilities. Beginning the week of November 29th, crews will dig larger holes in four locations on the east side of the river to measure and verify the locations of underground utilities (such as sewer pipes and gas and electric lines).

Soil sampling: As of the week of November 15, this work is mostly complete. There are two locations where work may still take place, but they are out of the way of the general public. 

Stakeholder outreach to reduce our impacts

Starting in summer 2022, our work on this project will generate noise and affect traffic, parking, and driveway access in several areas on both sides of the river. We anticipate that the full project will take about two years to complete.

We are looking for the community’s expertise on how we might reduce construction impacts and be good neighbors. To gather this expertise, we will meet with nearby business and property owners. We are also offering an online open house to collect information from folks about what we need to keep in mind during construction.

What’s happening on the west side?

West-side soil sampling and utility locates

This map shows soil sampling and utility locates will take place in South Harbor Drive, South Montgomery Street and in South Waterfront Park.

Soil sampling and utility locate work is complete on the west side of the river. The map below shows areas where crews removed soil for analysis and performed utility locates.

Work at 1720 SW Naito Parkway

We will briefly work in the parking lot at 1720 SW Naito Parkway to make small adjustments to the connection we installed in 2020, and then will fill in the launch pit. We are still sharing this site with the Bureau of Transportation while they work on the SW Naito Parkway Improvement Project, I-405 to Jefferson.

An illustrated map showing the construction location at 1720 SW Naito Parkway between S Harrison and SW Market

Parking lot and stairway closure

Map showing the ADA accessible path to the south of the construction site at 1720 SW Naito Parkway to be used while the staircase at S Montgomery Street is closed..

The parking lot and stairway at Southwest Naito Parkway between Southwest Harrison Street and Southwest Market Street are closed to the public for the duration of the project. Use the ADA-accessible ramp on the south end of the parking lot as a detour.

What’s happening on the east side?

East-side soil sampling and utility locates

Crews have completed sampling soils and verifying the locations of underground utilities except in two locations close to the railroad tracks. In late November and early December we will dig larger holes to measure and verify the locations of underground utilities in the following locations:

  • Southeast 3rd Avenue and Stephens Street

  • Southeast Stephens Street just west of Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard

  • Southeast Grand Avenue and Stephens Street

  • Southeast 10th Avenue and Harrison Street

This map shows soil sampling that will take place on the east side of the river, including the OMSI parking lot, SE Water Avenue, SE 3rd Avenue and SE Stephens, the right of way between SE Grand Avenue and SE 7th Avenue at SE Stephens, and at SE 10th and Harrison.

Traffic impacts

Please allow extra travel time and respect work zone safety cones, detours, and flaggers.

  • Sidewalk access: Sidewalks will remain open. However, there may be delays when we move equipment to and from the worksite.
  • Bicycle access: This work is not expected to impact bicycle lanes.
  • TriMet: There are no impacts to TriMet stops on the east side of the river.
  • Southeast 3rd Avenue at Southeast Stephens Street: Traffic will be routed around the work area.
  • Southeast Stephens Street between 3rd Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard: Traffic will be limited to local access only. We will coordinate with nearby businesses for deliveries.
  • Right-of-way between the Goodwill parking lot and store: We will coordinate with Goodwill management to ensure access to the store, employment center, and parking lot.
  • Intersection of Southeast Harrison Street and Southeast 10th Avenue: Traffic will be routed around the work area.



WRX Project Team

phone number503-823-7499

Project Voicemail/Hotline - Press zero at any time to skip the message and leave a voicemail. Please leave your name and phone number twice. A staff person will call you within one to three business days. To report a water service emergency, call 503-823-4874.

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