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Willamette River Crossing construction updates

Construction type
Project status
Engineering and design

The Willamette River Crossing project is currently in the design and exploration phase. We completed a geotechnical probe in August 2020, and will perform more geotechnical exploration to choose the best tunneling technology and route to cross the Willamette River.

2016 through 2023
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The Willamette River Crossing project is currently in the design and exploration phase. After we completed a geotechnical probe in August of 2020, we learned that more geotechnical exploration is needed to choose the best tunneling technology and route to cross the Willamette River.

  • We will do additional vertical borings in the area to better understand the soil conditions underground and evaluate alternatives.
  • Our team is evaluating alternative construction sequences, different routes the pipe could take, and alternative tunneling technology.
  • Our contractor will build on the information collected from the geotechnical probe and additional geotechnical surveys to design and construct the pipeline.

We’re continuing 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 due to current events.

If you know people who live in, work in, or travel through the area, please inform them about this project:

Westside activities

Upcoming work

Soil sampling

We will sample soils in multiple locations in early 2021, including in the Willamette River, and along the west and east riverbanks.

At each location, the contractor will use a sonic drill rig to collect soil samples to be studied. 

  • Noise: During drilling, sound will be at approximately 90 decibels. This is like the sound of a passing diesel truck or lawnmower. The contractor will fill holes and restore the area to its previous condition. A sound wall will be constructed on the east side near Riverplace to reduce construction noise.

  • Sidewalks: Crews will take measures to protect the sidewalks from drilling equipment as it is moved to and from the site.

Soil Sampling at the RiverPlace Esplanade

This map shows the construction area between the Riverwalk Esplanade and the river. It also shows that equipment will approach the construction site from the northern end of S Harbor Way, traveling around the north side of the Riverplace Hotel, and then down the sidewalk to midway between Tom McCall Park and S Montgomery Street.

Crews will drill in the grassy area separating the esplanade and the river, between South Montgomery and Southwest Clay Streets. This will help us gather additional information about soil deep underground. The esplanade will remain open, but you may need to wait a bit if we’re moving the drill to and from the worksite.

Starting in January, the Water Bureau will also perform maintenance work near RiverPlace as part of a different project. Learn more about the South Harbor Way Water Main Replacement project here.

Work at 1720 SW Naito Parkway 

You may see workers in and near the parking lot at 1720 SW Naito Parkway. We’re temporarily sharing this site with the Bureau of Transportation while they work on the SW Naito Parkway Improvement Project, I-405 to Jefferson. Our crews will return to the site in early 2021 to install connections between the existing water system and new pipe. 

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.

Eastside activities

Eastside Esplanade

Soil sampling will take place in a vegetated area below the I-5 Marquam Bridge near OMSI. The esplanade will remain open; however, you may need to wait a bit if we’re moving the drill to and from the worksite. 

This map shows that crews will bore in an area underneath the Marquam Bridge near the northwestern corner of the OMSI building.

Eastside Connection Update

Map showing worksites along SE Stephens and SE Harrison between 7th and 11th Avenues, and on SE 7th Avenue between Stephens and Harrison Streets.

Starting in the winter of 2021/2022, we’ll work along Southeast 7th Avenue and along Southeast Harrison Street between Southeast 7th and 11th Avenues to connect the new underground pipe to the existing water system. As this will affect traffic, parking, and driveway access in the area, we’re working with local businesses and residents now to plan for their access needs.

​Willamette River Activities

This map shows the area in which we will sample in the river, running parallel to and south of the Hawthorne Bridge.

In early 2021, we will contract with a company to sample the soil under the Willamette River near the Marquam Bridge. Work will occur during times approved by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Army Corps of Engineers. There are no expected impacts to fish and wildlife or recreational uses.



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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