Project expected to reach 75 percent completion this summer

SUBMITTED PHOTO: LAKE OSWEGO-TIGARD WATER PARTNERSHIP - Finished water pumps are running in the new water pump station at the LOT plant.The spring of 2017 still feels like a long time away, particularly for Robinwood residents who have lived with construction activities at the Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership (LOT) site for more than two years.

But the end is finally within sight for the project, which is estimated to be about 60 percent complete, according to LOT Project Director Joel Komarek. The project is expected to reach the 75 percent completion mark this summer, when new filters are installed at the water treatment plant site.

“I think the plan right now is to commission the new filters in early May, probably through that entire month,” Komarek said. “And once those new filters are online that means we can treat up to 32 million gallons a day, and that’s when we’ll be able to start supplying Tigard with all of their water.”

The $250 million project, which was approved in 2013, is designed to upgrade and increase system capacity to deliver drinking water from the Clackamas River to Lake Oswego and Tigard, while also providing a seismically secure source of emergency water for West Linn. As part of a land use agreement with the City of West Linn, LOT paid the city $5 million, which it opted to use for the replacement of the 100-plus year old Bolton Reservoir — West Linn’s primary water storage unit. Construction of that reservoir began earlier this year.

SUBMITTED PHOTO: LAKE OSWEGO-TIGARD WATER PARTNERSHIP - LOT's new administration building is nearing completion and should be operational this summer.

In December 2014, the Slayden Construction Group announced that the expansion and replacement of the LOT water plant in West Linn would be delayed by almost a full year, prompting renewed anger in the area surrounding the plant.

No other major delays have occurred since that point, and the project is slowly but surely pacing its way through some significant milestones. A new pipeline along Mapleton Drive was completed at the end of February, and is now pumping treated water out to Highway 43 and into Lake Oswego. LOT’s new administration building is also expected to be ready in June, after which point the old administration building near Kenthorpe Way will be torn down.

Recently, the City of West Linn also agreed to take control of re-paving efforts on Mapleton Drive and Kenthorpe Way, which should expedite a process that was originally intended to be completed by the contractor.

“The plan was, once the plant is all done, then we’ll go do the repaving of all the streets, because we won’t have any big trucks driving on them anymore,” Komarek said. “West Linn wanted to speed that up, and we couldn’t force the contractor to speed up, so they said, ‘Why don’t you have us take over that?’

“We’ll pay for it, but they’re going to do it on their schedule.”

A base layer of asphalt has already been laid on Mapleton Drive from Mary S. Young Park to the plant itself.

“The plan (for the City) is to come back in May of this year, finish the base (paving) from the plant to Highway 43, and later in the summer — I’m not sure when — they want to come and do the final (layer) of Mapleton from the bottom all the way to 43.”

Then, in the summer of 2017, Kenthorpe Way will see a water line replacement and repaving.

While final construction completion is set for 2017, Komarek noted that “major” activities at the site will likely be done by the end of this year.

“We’ve been telling folks that major construction activities that are generating noise or vibrations or require big trucks, the bulk of that is going to be done by the end of this calendar year, if not before,” Komarek said. “And then probably for 3 or 4 months afterwards, it’s going to be the contractor demobilizing from the site, cleaning, landscaping, all those final activities.”

SUBMITTED PHOTO: LAKE OSWEGO-TIGARD WATER PARTNERSHI - An aerial view shows the latest progress in construction of the new water plant. Major construction activities are expected to be complete by the end of the year.

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