Construction expected to begin this month on Tigard-Lake Oswego system facility

by: SUBMITTED - Tigard Mayor John L. Cook talks with Jon Holland a consultant with the partnership during a tour of the citys water treatment facilities in May. The citys water partnership with Lake Oswego saved million after a recent bidding process.The cities of Tigard and Lake Oswego have saved an estimated $4 million in their controversial water system update, after bidding ended last week for contractors to build its new water treatment plant.

On June 27, the Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership received a low bid from Stayton general contractor Slayden Construction Group, which announced that it would build the new plant in West Linn for $66.1 million, well below what the two cities had estimated the project would cost.

Replacing the water treatment plant is one of the largest parts of the partnership, a years-long project to build a new water system between the two cities by 2016.

Construction on the project is expected to begin this year.

In addition to a new water treatment plant, crews will install a new reservoir, intake station and pump station, and replace nearly 10 miles of pipeline between the two cities.

Coming in under budget is good news for ratepayers in the long run, who will pay less in order to pay off the system in the future.

“Today is a significant milestone,” said Tigard Mayor John L. Cook in a statement. “It’s time to get to work on this important project so that we can provide our community with the water it needs while providing opportunities to create (more than) 2,200 family-wage jobs.”

When finished, the plant will handle up to 38 million gallons each day, and be able to hold up to 2 million gallons of water underground.

Tigard would have access to up to 14 million gallons of that water each day.

The partnership will provide fresh drinking water to the Tigard Water Service Area, which includes King City, Durham, Bull Mountain and two-thirds of Tigard. Tigard residents who receive their water from Tualatin Valley Water District will not be affected.

Tigard is on the hook for more than half of the $250 million partnership, paying an estimated $127 million.

Lake Oswego has operated a water treatment plant in West Linn since the late 1960s, but expanding the plant has proved unpopular in the West Linn neighborhood where it is located.

Neighbors have fought for years to keep Lake Oswego and Tigard out of their backyard, saying that expanding the plant will reduce property values, among other concerns.

Proponents of the plant say the cities will save tens of millions of dollars during the next 25 to 50 years, have a more stable water supply and lower water rates in the long term.

Tigard has purchased drinking water from Portland for decades, but plans are to end its agreement with the city of roses in 2016, instead partnering with Lake Oswego, which has water rights along the Clackamas River.

Thursday’s announcement wasn’t the only savings the project has seen in recent months. The project’s new river intake pump station in Gladstone also came in under budget, saving the partnership an additional $1.5 million.

Construction at the Gladstone pump station is expected to begin this month.

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