GLADSTONE, Ore. (KOIN) — A change of plans is forcing contractors working on a new water intake system in Gladstone to dig trenches instead of tunneling to lay water pipes. Now, residents and businesses in the area are waiting to learn the impact of the project.
The intake station is part of a massive project to upgrade water facilities for Lake Oswego and Tigard, which have a partnership that allows them to share water resources.
New open-cut trenches will span 600 feet and link piping under the Willamette River with the new water intake pump system along the Clackamas River, less than a mile away.
Just last year, the project ran into delays due to a cofferdam collapse on the Clackamas River. This summer, plans to tunnel all the way from that facility to the Willamette ran into another hurdle.
“They encountered some problems with the tunnel boring machine, so they’re in the process now of removing that machine and finding out what happened,” Katy Fulton with the City of Lake Oswego told KOIN 6 News.
Two businesses along McLoughlin Blvd. have agreed to let construction crews dig pipe trenches right through their property.
Until recently, the businesses — a car dealership and a teriyaki restaurant — wanted the trenching done at night to avoid disrupting business.
The City of Lake Oswego asked for a noise variance to allow the night digging to happen. It’s something that concerned the Gladstone City Council.
“There’s several people in town who feel Lake Oswego and Tigard maybe didn’t have their best interest at heart when they were building,” Gladstone Interim City Administrator Ross Schultz said.
Pushback from the city council forced Lake Oswego to reach a deal with the businesses, allowing daytime construction and delays.
“We went back and discussed it with them and talked to them and said, ‘look, this is the situation we’re in. Is there any way we can make it a better agreement and something we can do?'” Katy Fulton with the City of Lake Oswego said.
The business agreed, and trees have since been cleared. Crews will work 7 a.m.- 6 p.m. during the week to finish the project.
Still, night digging will have to happen across McLoughlin Blvd. to minimize traffic issues in the coming weeks.
“I’m certain the people on Exeter St. and the ones that would have been impacted by all the noise late at night are much happier,” Schultz said.