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Portland Water Bureau

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Gresham Trestle Upgrade Project

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Project overview

Not if, but when... You’ve heard about our region’s earthquake risks. The Portland Water Bureau has worked for the past several decades to increase the number of water supply facilities that can withstand earthquakes. The Gresham Trestle replacement project is part of our commitment to preparedness and our mission of serving excellent water every minute of every day.

This project will strengthen the structural supports, known as trestles, that hold the water pipe that runs along Kelly Creek behind properties at 3800, 3820, 3860, and 3870 SE El Camino Dr., and 210, 250, and 215 SE La Mesa Ct.

Both the pipe and trestles were installed at this location in the year 1911. The pipe is in good condition, but the trestles may not endure a large earthquake or heavy flooding. The work we are doing will make Portland’s and Gresham’s water supply more resistant to earthquakes and floods.

Project status

The project is currently undergoing land use review with the City of Gresham. Our proposal involves the removal of trees and other vegetation to allow equipment to access the trestle. It also includes an extensive restoration plan, developed in conjunction with the City of Gresham, to landscape the entire lot afterwards with native trees and plants that will improve the health of the creek.

A map shows the location of the work zone in an open space parcel along Kelley Creek. Water Bureau easements will allow personnel to access the construction zone from NE El Camino Drive and SE La Mesa Court.

In fall 2020, after construction is complete, crews will restore the work zone and surrounding open space area. They will remove invasive species (by hand and by spot application of herbicide by hand), seed with native grasses, plant a mix of over 500 native trees and shrubs (overplanting by 20%), and monitor for five years to ensure an 80% survival rate of native plants.

A map shows trees that will be removed, as well as the area where native plants will be planted in the work zone and open space. It shows examples of native trees, shrubs and grasses that will be used.

Photos of native plants to be installed: Cascara, Western hemlock, Western red cedar, snowberry, thimbleberry, blue wildrye, Columbia brome, California brome, slender hairgrass

 Project schedule

The project is currently undergoing land use review. Construction is expected to begin in spring of 2020. More detailed information will be posted here as it becomes available.

Proposed project timeline

Outreach history

September 25, 2019 Early Neighborhood Notification Open House: As part of Gresham's land use review process, we hosted an Early Neighborhood Notification meeting on September 25, 2019 to discuss construction and restoration plans with area residents. The purpose of this meeting was to provide an opportunity for surrounding property owners to meet with our project staff, discuss this proposal, and make modifications to the proposal where reasonable. As part of this, we posted four signs at locations near the project site, and mailed direct notice of the meeting to property owners within 300 feet of the project area. The Powell Valley Neighborhood Association also generously posted information about the meeting to their social media channels. The project is pre-application conference number PZ19-26000078. You can see the pre-application notes for this proposal on the City of Gresham’s Online Development Planning land use project tracking system, ePlan, at


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Questions? Katy Asher, 503-865-6054, or