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News Release
Traffic Advisory: Water Bureau begins construction on Washington Park reservoir road restoration (Photo) - 07/02/24

Work to improve the Washington Park reservoirs is entering a new phase that will require expanded local road closures within the park between late April and early November 2024. This is in addition to existing closures related to the project. 

The Portland Water Bureau recently replaced reservoirs built in 1894 with a new 12.4-million-gallon, seismically reinforced underground reservoir. This summer, the Water Bureau is fulfilling promises to restore roads near the construction site boundary. 

Construction work requires street closures that will impact travel within the park. 

  • SW Sacajawea BLVD will be closed to all traffic within Washington Park, from SW Park Place to SW Washington Way, mid-July to October
  • SW Sherwood BLVD will be closed from SW Lewis and Clark Circle to SW Carter AVE, September to early November. 

Traffic signs and crew members will direct travelers around the closure area.

What to expect 

This project will last about seven months. Inclement weather and scheduling conflicts may alter construction timeline and activities.

Bus stops along the closures will be relocated, and buses will be rerouted.

Street parking will be limited. There will be no public parking along the upper part of SW Sherwood Boulevard between SW Rose Garden Way and SW Carter Avenue from September to early November. 

The traveling public is reminded to stay alert and use caution as traffic may suddenly slow or stop. To avoid traffic delays, motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes around the work site. Hikers should follow temporary pedestrian access routes and detours and remain vigilant to changes in traffic patterns around the closure area. Bicyclists should use caution when sharing the road with vehicles around the closure area, and drivers should be on the lookout for bikes in the roadway. 

Plan ahead when visiting Washington Park 

On-site parking near the International Rose Test Garden and Japanese Garden will be limited. Visitors are highly encouraged to use transit, including the free Washington Park shuttle, an enjoyable and efficient way to explore the park.

The Washington Park Free Shuttle runs a loop inside the park daily and stops at the Washington Park MAX Station. Use the real-time shuttle tracker to check its location and schedule. All shuttles are ADA accessible.

Visitors are encouraged to take MAX, TriMet bus service, or rideshare service to Washington Park. Refer to trimet.org for route and schedule changes.

About the Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project

Since 2021, the underground reservoir has been supplying water to Portland’s west side and serving more than 360,000 people, including all downtown businesses and residents, twenty schools, five hospital complexes, and more than sixty parks. The new reservoir was engineered to withstand future seismic activity and movement from an ancient landslide on site. 

Construction to build a reflecting pool on top of the new underground reservoir, which was built within the footprint of Reservoir 3, is expected to start in the spring of 2024 and finish sometime during the winter of 2024–25.  


About the Portland Water Bureau

The Portland Water Bureau serves water to almost a million people in the Portland area. Portland’s water system includes two great water sources, 54 tanks and reservoirs, and 2,250 miles of pipes. With 600 employees working on everything from water treatment to customer service, the Water Bureau is committed to serving excellent water every minute of every day.