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Bolton Reservoir on track for completion in spring

Street work nearly finished

SUBMITTED PHOTO: CITY OF WEST LINN - The City began the process of concrete pouring at the reservoir in early August. The pouring is expected to be complete in September. Progress continues in the construction of the new Bolton Reservoir, and the City is nearing a crucial landmark that drivers across West Linn will appreciate.

Come Sept. 2, Skyline Drive will be reopened — just in time for a new school year at nearby West Linn High School. The hillside street has been closed since June 20 to allow for paving and the installation of a new sidewalk, projects scheduled in tandem with the construction of the new reservoir.

According to Assistant City Engineer Erich Lais, the street paving was finished last week, while sidewalk paving was set to begin earlier this week.

“We’re scheduled for the road to be paved and the sidewalk in before school starts,” Lais said. “Either way, the roads will be open before Labor Day weekend, but right now we’re scheduled to have everything done — striped, everything. If the concrete guys got pushed out, we would have to do a lane closure, but our goal obviously all along was to be done before school started.”

Construction began earlier this year on the new reservoir, which will hold an estimated 4 million gallons of water in a seismically secure tank. It replaces a 100-year-old structure which held just 2.5 million gallons. The former reservoir has been being marked for replacement since the 1980s.

SUBMITTED PHOTO: CITY OF WEST LINN - Work on the new reservoir is still on track for completion in the spring of 2017.

The City was finally able to fund the replacement in large part due to a $5 million payment made by Lake Oswego as part of the Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership project in West Linn.

New water lines to the reservoir were completed in the spring, according to Lais, and recently the reservoir itself hit a significant milestone with the first of four concrete pours in the tank.

“Basically, the slab for the reservoir is poured in four sections,” Lais said. “The first was (the week of Aug. 8), the second was (the week of Aug. 15) and the third and fourth will be Aug. 29 and Sept. 1. So once we get that done, that’s the largest concrete pours. The walls aren’t as big a volume, and neither is the roof.”

Lais said he couldn’t put an exact percentage on how far along the project is, but that it remains on schedule to be completed sometime in the spring of 2017, likely around March.

“We’re still on schedule,” he said. “We should be up and running and have it online by March.”

Lais added that the project has not run into any unexpected hiccups, other than the continued challenge of keeping drivers away from Skyline Drive this summer and the removal of a retaining wall.

“The type of retaining wall that was originally proposed in the design wasn’t going to work with the hillside for stability reasons,” Lais said. “So we kind of went back to the drawing board and did more analysis with the geotechnical engineer, and it turns out that by not having a wall there, it’s basically equivalent to what we have now. So we deleted the wall and sloped the hillside.”

Patrick Malee can be reached at 503-636-1281 Ext. 106 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..