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Portland's Plan to Move its Open Air Reservoirs Underground

Though the plan to move water storage capacity for the Washington Park reservoirs underground is getting more expensive, the project must be completed to comply with federal regulations.
May 26, 2016, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Reservoir 3 in Portland's Washington Park.

The cost of bringing Portland's Washington Park reservoirs into compliance with federal regulations is rising—now at $190 million after increasing by $20 million since eight months ago. Brad Schmidt reports, however, that the price increase will not deter the city from completing the project, even if the price continues to rise.

According to Schmidt, the "reservoir project would mark the city's second-most expensive public works effort behind the $1.4 billion Big Pipe." When complete in 2024, the project won't change the appearance of the reservoir, though storage will move to an underground facility. Schmidt explains:

Officials plan to replace the open-air Reservoir 3 with a closed underground reservoir that features a reflective pond on top, similar in appearance to what's there now. Reservoir 4 will be disconnected from the water system but Portland will build a bioswale and reflective pool. 

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Published on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 in The Oregonian
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