Water Storage Projects updates and Announcements


The water storage project sites are integrated with the surrounding neighborhoods and are valued open space amenities that enhance the quality of life for residents. As such, it's important to keep the public informed and involved in project planning and construction work.

Following is a running list of updates and announcements.

E. 40th

June 28, 2022

Beginning the week of July 5, 2022, an EWEB contractor will excavate a series of small holes to locate underground utilities from the intersection near 34th and Hilyard St., south to the location of the water storage construction project off E. 40th and Patterson St.

This survey work is necessary to design and construct the 36” water pipe that will eventually deliver water from the new storage tanks to homes and businesses throughout Eugene. The utility location work will last about two weeks and will primarily take place Monday - Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., however intermittent work may occur outside of these hours if necessary.

What to expect

  • Construction trucks, flaggers, lane closures, and restricted street parking for this stretch of Patterson, E. 40th Ave. and Hilyard St., including along Tugman Park.
  • Loud equipment noise.
  • Possible delays for cars leaving or entering residences along the route.

Once the survey work begins, the contractor will make every effort to maintain access to the street and driveways, but residents might experience delays coming and going.

Construction of the pipeline will cause additional traffic impacts during the spring-summer of 2023.

Additional updates

  • The excavation and tank subgrade preparation stages of work are nearly complete. The large excavation equipment will leave the site within a couple of weeks.
  • The tank construction contractor (Skaar Construction, Inc.) will arrive onsite with a crane and other equipment at the end of June.
  • Expect an increase in truck traffic as deliveries of rebar and piping arrive starting the week of June 27.
  • In early July, work will begin on installing forms and rebar for the inlet/outlet piping that will be encased in concrete under the floor slab.

View project phases and timeline

May 4, 2022

Tank construction expected to begin this month.

At the April 5 public meeting, EWEB’s Board of Commissioners awarded the contract for tank construction to Pacific Excavation (Pac Ex). Pac Ex was the lowest responsive bidder and is the same company that EWEB contracted to provide tree removal and excavation services at the site.

The first phase of construction—laying the subgrade and constructing the drain system—is expected to begin in the next couple of weeks. We anticipate concrete work to begin late-May to early-June 2022 and last approximately a year.

Preliminary site restoration activities planned.

EWEB staff have started working with a contractor to scope out fire mitigation improvements. The ecological study conducted in 2021 identified several potential improvements to reduce fire hazards, enhance habitat value and improve the overall health of the site.

In the coming months, you can expect to hear more information about fire mitigation and other site improvement plans. In the short-term, EWEB will be working with a local contractor to mitigate poison oak on the West side of the property.

Pipe design work is underway.

EWEB is starting preliminary design work for the new 36-inch water transmission main that will be constructed between West Amazon St. and the intersection of East 40th Ave. and Patterson St. We anticipate that that phase of the work will go out to bid late summer to early fall, with construction occurring mid-to-late 2023 after the concrete work on the tanks is complete.

New bench installed.

A new bench was recently installed on the east side of the property to replace the bench that was destroyed by vandals.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE SITE 

  • Truck traffic and construction noise will resume in the next couple of weeks as crews begin laying the subgrade and constructing the drain system.
  • Work hours will be Monday – Friday starting at 7 a.m. and ending by 5 p.m.
  • Workers will be removing blackberries on the west side of the property during the next few weeks.

March 9, 2022: Following is a brief update on what has been happening at the project site.

Excavation for both tanks is substantially complete.

  • The excavation crews will demobilize some of the equipment on Friday, March 11. A large trailer will be on-site, and there may be temporary traffic impacts on Patterson St.
  • Crews next will begin installing a layer of crushed rock within the footprint of the tanks and perform general cleanup at the site.

The tank construction contract is open for public bidding.

  • The Board of Commissioners will be asked to approve a contract at their April 5 public meeting.
  • Tank construction is anticipated to begin mid-April or May and last 18-22 months.
  • During the tank construction phase, neighbors can expect truck traffic and equipment noise, interspersed with relatively quieter stretches of time in between concrete pours.

E. 40th water storage construction site in March 2022

Watch a short video clip of the construction site.


Jan. 25, 2022: Following is a brief update on what has been happening at the project site.

  • Crews are continuing to remove and haul the rock that was blasted for Tank 1. Blasting was completed in late-December, several months ahead of schedule. Hauling will continue for the next few months, resulting in continued high truck traffic and excavation noise.
  • Plastic sheeting was installed on the south side of Tank 2 in an attempt to control erosion of the exposed slope and to keep workers safe. If the plastic sheeting is not successful, we may need to implement additional measures such as wire mesh and/or shotcrete (sprayed-on concrete).
  • Survey work was completed for the new pipeline. The 36-inch water transmission main will be constructed between West Amazon St. and the intersection of East 40th Ave. and Patterson St. To minimize costs and traffic impacts, the pipeline work will be timed to coincide with planned City of Eugene street repairs.
  • Three viewing benches have been installed--two on the west side and one on the east side of the site. The benches provide a safe spot for members of the public to observe construction and learn more about the infrastructure that allows all of Eugene to enjoy safe, reliable drinking water.

For more information, read our Jan. 25 email to neighbors.

Plastic sheeting erosion control at E. 40th construction site
Plastic sheeting erosion control at E. 40th construction site shown up close

A man sitting on newly installed bench at E. 40th construction site

Dec. 27, 2021: We are happy to report that the controlled underground blasting phase of the project is now complete.

Following is the schedule for the next few days:

Monday, 12/27 - No work due to weather conditions.

Tuesday - Thursday, 12/28-12/30: Work will be weather-dependent. Minimal work preparing the site to start removing material within the footprint of Tank 1.

Friday, 12/31: No work due to holiday.

The next several months will primarily involve removing and hauling the rock that was blasted for Tank 1. Area residents can expect high truck traffic and excavation noise.

Thank You

As we approach year-end, the project team would like to take a moment to thank site neighbors and all the members of our extended community for your patience and understanding during the first few phases of this project. EWEB works year-round throughout our community on maintenance repairs, capital projects, and facility renovations to strengthen utility infrastructure and ensure Eugene homes and business have safe and reliable power and water. However, we recognize that the E. 40th project is extraordinary in scope, scale and location, and this first year in particular has acutely impacted surrounding neighbors. Thank you for your perseverance and for the ongoing constructive dialogue about ecological protection, public access, construction impacts and other topics.

Dec. 3, 2021: With just 11 blasts remaining for Tank #1, we have an opportunity to complete the blasting and drilling by Dec. 23 by increasing the number of blasts per week.

The increased frequency will speed completion of the blasting phase of the project, with excavation for Tank #2 and rock hauling continuing over the winter months.

Following is the current blasting schedule:

Week of 12/7: 3 blasts

  • Tuesday 12/7
  • Wednesday 12/8
  • Thursday 12/9

Week of 12/13: 4 blasts

  • Monday 12/13
  • Tuesday 12/14
  • Wednesday 12/15
  • Thursday 12/16

Week of 12/20: 4 blasts

  • Monday 12/20
  • Tuesday 12/21
  • Wednesday 12/22
  • Thursday 12/23

Scheduled blasts will occur between 1-1:30 p.m. The actual blast will last only a couple of seconds.

This schedule assumes no unforeseen rock conditions or events that could delay the drilling and blasting process. We will notify neighbor of any needed changes.

Nov. 19, 2021: We are adding a day of blasting next week to make up for the missed blast this week.

Following is the current blasting schedule for the next couple of weeks:

  • Monday, Nov. 22
  • Tuesday, Nov. 23
  • Wednesday, Nov. 24 (make up for Thanksgiving)

As a reminder, scheduled blasts will occur between 1-1:30 p.m. The actual blast will last only a couple of seconds. Horn safety signals will sound 5 minutes and 1 minute before the blast and at the conclusion of the blast. If you are near the construction site and hear a horn signal, please be aware blasting activity will occur shortly and follow instructions of site personnel or any additional signage that may be posted.

Additional updates‌

On Friday, Nov. 19 crews placed HydroSeed on the excavated slopes as a way to stabilize the exposed soils. HydroSeeding is a process where seed, mulch, fertilizer, soil amendments, and water are combined to form a slurry that is sprayed onto the ground to establish vegetation and control erosion.

tank slope excavation with hydroseed

Nov. 17, 2021: The contractor is experiencing mechanical problems with their drill, and as a result today's controlled blast is canceled.

We will communicate with neighbors when/if today's blast is rescheduled for a different day. Following is the current blasting schedule for the next couple of weeks:

  • Thursday, Nov. 18
  • Tuesday, Nov. 23
  • Wednesday, Nov. 24 (make up for Thanksgiving)

As a reminder, scheduled blasts will occur between 1-1:30 p.m. The actual blast will last only a couple of seconds. Horn safety signals will sound 5 minutes and 1 minute before the blast and at the conclusion of the blast. If you are near the construction site and hear a horn signal, please be aware blasting activity will occur shortly and follow instructions of site personnel or any additional signage that may be posted.

Additional updates‌

On Friday, Nov. 19 crews will HydroSeed the excavated slopes as a way to stabilize the exposed soils. HydroSeeding is a process where seed, mulch, fertilizer, soil amendments, and water are combined to form a slurry that is sprayed onto the ground to establish vegetation and control erosion.

Nov. 12, 2021: We want to make you aware that two additional blasting days have been scheduled to make up time lost due to Veterans Day and Thanksgiving.

Following is the blasting schedule for the next couple of weeks:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 16
  • Wednesday, Nov. 17 (make up for Veterans Day)
  • Thursday, Nov. 18
  • Tuesday, Nov. 23
  • Wednesday, Nov. 24 (make up for Thanksgiving)

As a reminder, scheduled blasts will occur between 1-1:30 p.m. The actual blast will last only a couple of seconds. Horn safety signals will sound 5 minutes and 1 minute before the blast and at the conclusion of the blast. If you are near the construction site and hear a horn signal, please be aware blasting activity will occur shortly and follow instructions of site personnel or any additional signage that may be posted. Read our Nov. 12 email to neigbhors for additional updates.

Nov. 7, 2021: Contractors completed paving of the entrance last week.

The paved entrance in intended to reduce the amount of sediment leaving the site and entering the gutter. With this new erosion control measure in place, excavation will continue. Please be prepared for a resumption of dump truck traffic on Monday morning (Nov. 8).

At this time, we expect the twice-a-week blasting schedule will resume on Tuesday, Nov. 9. However, there will be no blast on Thursday, Nov. 11 as this is a Federal holiday (Veterans Day).

It's possible that a second blast might be rescheduled for another day during the week of Nov. 8 (to make up for the missed 11/11 blast). If a second blast is planned, we will inform neighbors in advance.

Read our Nov. 7 email to neighbors.

Information on Nov. 2 blasting incident

On Nov. 2, EWEB's contractor conducted a controlled underground blast at the E. 40th water storage site. An incident occurred during the blast which resulted in flying rock and debris.

While there were no injuries, a house adjacent to the construction site sustained some cosmetic damage. Although blasting is performed through a professional subcontractor, EWEB is ultimately responsible for the overall project and is taking this incident very seriously. We are committed to doing our part to maintain a safe and well-managed worksite, and to protect the safety of our customers.

EWEB's project manager was on-site at the time of the incident. The immediate response was:

1.    Safety - check on neighbors who were in the area when the incident occurred.

2.    Cease work - contractors were instructed to stop all work on the site.

A Root Cause Analysis Report was performed by the blasting contractor to determine what happened, why it happened and what the contractor can do to make sure it doesn't happen again. 

The analysis determined the incident resulted from an oversight by a drill operator. 

The operator drilled a partial hole, then abandoned the hole without placing a visual marker to alert the blasting crew. Because the partial hole was unknown, the blasting crew did not take measures, such as packing and fully covering the hole with blasting mats, to prevent material from being ejected during the blast. No problems were identified with the design, material or equipment used in the blast. 

The contractor submitted a plan to EWEB for preventing similar incidents from occurring in future blasts. 

The plan includes expanding the footprint of blast mats to extend 20 feet past the last loaded hole, and retraining workers to ensure they mark any drill hole anomalies with visible flags. EWEB's Safety Office reviewed the contractor's plan. We are satisfied that these corrective actions are appropriate to prevent future incidents. Controlled blasting resumed on Tuesday, Nov. 9. 

Listen to EWEB project team's interview with KEPW Eugene Community Newswire.

Nov. 4, 2021: Here's a quick update on work at the site.

Contractors will be paving the entrance to the site on Friday, Nov. 5. The paving is intended as an additional erosion control measure to reduce the amount of sediment leaving the site and entering the gutter. Since the entrance will be unavailable during paving, there will be some trucks parked on Patterson St. on Friday.

Also on Friday, drilling work will resume.

Several more blasting mats have been delivered to the site as part of the contractor's additional safety measures following the Nov. 2 blasting incident. Once we have verified all remedies are done and in place, we will authorize the contractor to resume blasting. At this time, we expect blasting to resume on Tuesday, Nov. 9.

Nov. 3, 2021: We have asked the contractor to prepare a letter to neighbors with additional information about yesterday's blasting incident, their analysis and safety measures.

We will forward the letter to you as soon as we have it. In the meantime, here is an update from the EWEB project team.

Nov. 3, 2021: EWEB staff and contractors met on the job site early this morning to discuss yesterday's blasting incident and next steps.

We expect a full Root Cause Analysis Report from the contractor shortly. The analysis will identify what happened and corrective actions necessary to prevent future incidents. 

Blasting work is postponed until the root cause analysis is complete. However, we have allowed some work on the site to resume today. Read more.

Nov. 2, 2021: An incident occurred during today's blast which resulted in flying rock and debris.

What we know:

This was not supposed to happen. Underground controlled blasting is a common infrastructure construction method that involves extensive safety measures to contain debris and keep people and structures safe.

Safety is our #1 priority. EWEB will not allow work to continue until a full investigation is complete and the contractor provides full assurances that safety measures are in place to prevent this type of incident from occurring again. 

What we don't yet know:

Why this incident occurred. The investigation will provide a cause for the incident.

The vibration and sound measurements of the blast. The contractor will prepare an analysis of seismograph data to verify the vibration and sound measurements.

Read our Nov. 2 email to neighbors.

Nov. 2, 2021: This is just a reminder that today is a blasting day.

The current blasting schedule is Tuesdays and Thursdays between 1-1:30 p.m. The actual blast will last only a couple of seconds.Horn safety signals will sound 5 minutes and 1 minute before the blast and at the conclusion of the blast.

If you are near the construction site and hear a horn signal, please be aware blasting activity will occur shortly and follow instructions of site personnel or any additional signage that may be posted.

See videos of the blast that took place last week on Oct. 28.

The blasting schedule is subject to change based on weather conditions and overall project status. If there is a change to the Tuesday/Thursday blast schedule, we will notify you in advance.

Oct. 28, 2021: The first underground controlled blast occurred today just after 1 p.m.

Here are some photos and video from today's events.

Oct. 25, 2021: Following is a round-up of recent activities on the water storage project.

Third-party pre-blast home inspections are nearly complete. TerraFirma will email the reports directly to homeowners this week.

The additional, unplanned work to reduce the slope angle on the west side of the site is complete.Excavation of topsoil around Tank #1 (east side) is nearing completion. Excavation for Tank #2 (west side) is about 60% complete.

Drilling is beginning this week. Drilling hours are anticipated to be 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. M-F. We expect this will be the noisiest phase of the project and will last 6-8 months.

Blasting is tentatively scheduled to begin this Thursday (10/28) at 1 p.m. The first blast will be a small, test. Starting next week, blasting is expected to take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 1-1:30 p.m.

Six seismographs/vibration monitors have been installed around the perimeter of the site.In the next couple of weeks we will be installing a temporary construction power supply. The new conduit will be bored from an electric box near 4065 Hilyard St. There could be traffic impacts on Patterson St. that day.

EWEB, the contractor and City staff continue to work together to adjust and improve stormwater management. The switch from dry weather best management practices (BMP) to wet weather BMPs is causing some mud build-up on Patterson St., and we have requested a meeting with the City so that we can make adjustments that align with our erosion control permit.

The contractor is sweeping Patterson St. multiple times a week to keep mud to a minimum. We have asked the contractor to move the "biobags" during street cleaning and then replace them afterward. This should help keep bags and surround areas a little neater.

Benches are here! We will be putting two on the west side of the construction site and one on the east side to provide a place to watch the construction.

Oct. 23, 2021: Notice of potential weekend work

The contractor may need to pump out the drainage tank this weekend due to the amount of rain expected. They will potentially be checking on the site multiple times this weekend. If they have to pump out water, they will use a diesel generator powered pump, which will be noisy for a short amount of time.

Oct. 7, 2021: The construction crew has run into an issue with a section of the excavated slope on the west side of the site.

In this 30-foot section, the slope is crumbling sandstone and per Oregon Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines could create a potential safety hazard for workers.

We need to resolve this issue quickly for the safety of the work crews. To that end, we evaluated the following options:

1. Shore up the slope - Using shotcrete (sprayed concrete) can stabilize the slope but is very expensive and would add significant time to the excavation process.

2. Flatten or reduce the slope angle - this is a faster and least expensive process but requires us to expand the tank construction zone to the west, impacting about 10 trees on the margin of the work site.

3. Move both tanks to the east - this option would shift the tanks approximately 10 feet to the east. This would require removal of the several remaining fir trees on the east side and would further impact homes on this side of the property.

After evaluating the three options, we have determined that reducing or flattening the slope angle is the best solution. On Friday, we will begin the work to lay back an additional approximately 10 feet of slope.

To learn more, read our Oct. 7 email to neighbors.

Oct. 3, 2022: Following is a round-up of recent activities on the water storage project:

  • Topsoil excavation is still underway and on schedule.
  • A third-party contractor is performing pre-blast home inspections for neighbors within 500 feet of areas to be blasted.
  • EWEB's Safety Officer visited the site to take noise measurements. Noise was within acceptable OSHA limits on the property and workers on the site were using appropriate safety measures while the equipment was operating.
  • EWEB met with the Lane Regional Air Protection Authority (LRAPA), the City of Eugene and the Contractor to discuss dust mitigation. As a result, additional rock was installed over the haul roads on the site, one laborer from the construction company has been dedicated to spraying down the haul road and each dump truck load as it leaves the site when conditions are dry, and dump truck load size has been reduced.
  • EWEB, the contractor and City staff worked together to improve stormwater management. Check dams were installed to keep turbid water from the newly installed rock on the haul routes from running off the site into the gutter.
  • EWEB hosted a drop-in information session for neighbors at the project site. The contractor was available to answer questions about controlled drilling and blasting.
  • EWEB worked with the contractor to add more signs on E. 40th that alert drivers to trucks entering the roadway.
  • Drilling work to prepare the site for underground blasting will begin soon. Expect elevated noise levels during the drilling phase.
  • Drilling and underground blasting is expected to begin the second or third week of October.

For more information, read our Oct. 3 email to neighbors.

Sept. 23, 2021: Excavation work will extend to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow.

Crews are continuing to remove top soil in preparation for the next phase of excavation, drilling and underground controlled blasting. The extra work hours will help crews make up some time lost due to recent weather-related issues.

Sept. 8, 2021: Site preparation activities are still underway and on schedule.

Crews are removing approximately 15 feet of top soil in preparation for the next phase of excavation. Once the soil is removed, controlled drilling and blasting will be used to loosen and fragment in-place rock materials to a size that can be removed, transported, or crushed. The contractor anticipates that drilling and blasting will begin during the first or second week of October. During the next few weeks, the contractor will submit to EWEB a blasting safety plan, vibration monitoring plan, and work schedule. The plans and work schedule will be shared with neighbors and posted on our website.

For more information, read our 9/8/21 email to adjacent neighbors.

August 24, 2021: What's happening at the site?

Site preparation activities continue this week (8/23-8/27) including stump removal, hauling wood materials, and ­­other work to prepare the site for excavation. Additional excavation equipment will arrive next week. For the next 6-8 weeks, crews will be working on removing topsoil. Approximately 15 feet of soil will be removed and hauled off-site, in preparation for controlled drilling and blasting. In addition to excavation equipment noise, there will be dump trucks coming and going, using the Hilyard Street route.

For more information, read our Aug. 24 email to adjacent neighbors.


August 18, 2021: On Wednesday, Aug. 18, the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) lifted the temporary stay, clearing the way for work to continue on the water storage project.

Site preparation activities will resume on Thursday, Aug. 19 including prepping and felling the remaining trees within the construction footprint, stump removal, and ­­other work to prepare the site for excavation.

Reminders regarding general construction impacts:

  • Workers, trucks, and equipment will generally begin arriving on-site around 7 a.m
  • We will only do work during hours that the City of Eugene noise ordinance allows and we will communicate work hours as the work progresses.
  • Truck noise such as beeping is not easily mitigated as that is an OSHA-required safety feature and needs to be loud enough for someone to hear while wearing hearing protection. When possible, trucks will be routed around the site to avoid the need to back up.

While we can't anticipate or mitigate all impacts, we will be responsive to your questions, suggestions, or concerns. Please reach out to us directly so that we can quickly address any issues that arise by email at water.storage@eweb.org or by phone at 541-685-7899.

For more information, read our Aug. 18 email to neighbors.

August 14, 2021: At the Aug. 3 EWEB Board meeting, Commissioners approved a contract for excavation services to facilitate the construction of two new seismically resilient water storage tanks at the E. 40th site. During the next few weeks, the contractor will submit to EWEB a blasting safety plan, vibration monitoring plan, and work schedule. The plans and work schedule will be shared with neighbors and posted on our website.

What to expect next week:

  • We will continue with LUBA's temporary stay order.
  • Site clean-up will continue on Monday, Aug. 16.
  • Chipping downed wood will take around 5-7 days and will result in increased noise levels relative to existing conditions.
  • Excavation equipment will begin arriving on the site Wednesday, Aug. 18.

For more information, read our Aug. 14 email to neighbors.

August 3, 2021: We have been advised by legal counsel that downed trees are not part of the LUBA order, and that we can proceed with limited clean-up work.

The contractor will be back on-site Wednesday, Aug. 4 removing limbs and stockpiling logs. Trucks and crews will begin arriving at the site around 7 a.m. and work will begin at or close to 8 a.m.

Consistent with LUBA's order we will not be doing any additional tree felling or stump removal at this time.

August 3, 2021: On August 2, the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) received a notice of intent to appeal the erosion prevention permit that was issued by the City on July 30, 2021. Later that day, EWEB received an interim stay issued by LUBA which temporarily halts work while LUBA reviews the merits of the appeal.

We want to assure our community that we have adhered to all land use requirements. We are coordinating with our legal counsel to work through the LUBA process so that we can resume work on this project to provide secure, reliable water storage.

Tree removal work is nearly complete, but we will not be able to remove the downed wood until we are cleared by LUBA to resume work.

We are unsure how long the stay will be in place. However, the LUBA order requires responses to be submitted by Monday, Aug. 9. We will share more information as it becomes available.

In the meantime, you may see some limited activity on the site unrelated to tree work. For example, the contractor will be installing more rock for erosion prevention in anticipation of rain in the forecast, and we will be making some repairs to an area of fencing that was damaged.

For more information, read our August 3 email to neighbors.

July 31, 2021: As we begin construction, we want to assure you of the extra precautions we are taking related to fire risk.

While there are no tree removal restrictions within the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary per City fire code, EWEB will adhere to the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) restrictions and is taking other proactive risk mitigation measures. The contractors will strictly adhere to the IFPL work schedule (no fire-risk activity after 1 p.m.), continuously monitor conditions throughout the day, and adjust work and mitigation strategies accordingly.

Additionally:

  • A new hydrant was installed at the west entrance of the property. This gives the contractor a path to install a fire hose across the site to have water available throughout construction.
  • The contractor will have two water trucks onsite, one dedicated for fire mitigation and one for dust mitigation.
  • The contractor is removing the vegetation around the work zone down to the bare ground and installing rock up to the tree line. This reduces fire risk and helps with dust mitigation.
  • A minimum 3-hour fire watch will be provided by the contractor after work stops for the day. Additionally, EWEB will have 24/7 security at the site who will be able to call 911 and EWEB's security lead if they see anything concerning after fire-watch.
  • EWEB has been communicating with the Eugene Fire Department regarding schedule and mitigation plans. They are aware of the work and the work schedule and will be ready to respond if an issue should arise, as well as to consult with us if a red flag warning goes into effect in the area.

For more information, read our July 31 email to neighbors.

July 26, 2021: This week, Northwest Youth Corps will be at the site doing invasive weed removal. Blackberry and other invasive weeds are common ladder fuels for wildfire and hamper forest health. Expect to see Northwest Youth Corps on-site July 28-29.

Fencing and tree removal:

  • Fencing and erosion control will be installed during the last 2 weeks of July. The fencing will be chain link, and will be limited to the construction zone on the northeast side of the property. The west and south sides of the property will remain open to the public during most phases of construction. The fencing will remain in place throughout construction (2.5 - 3 years). 
  • During the last week of July, equipment will arrive at the site. Once the equipment arrives, a 24x7 security contractor will be onsite (in a truck parked at the Patterson St. entrance). The security is there to keep equipment safe and is a temporary measure until we have a more frequent presence at the site. 
  • Tree removal will begin in early August. The process to take down, chip and haul wood will take approximately 3-4 weeks. During that time, there will be chainsaw noise, chipper noise, and truck traffic. Work will not begin before 8 a.m. and will be complete by 4 p.m. Monday - Friday. 
  • Approximately 75% of the trees on the site will be left standing. Only the trees in the footprint of the tanks are being removed. 
  • We are keeping all of the downed wood in the community. When possible, we will create snags and leave downed trees on the site for birds and other wildlife to use for nests, nurseries, storage areas, and perching. Other downed trees are being donated to a City of Eugene wetlands restoration project, where they will continue to provide habitat long into the future, and for public use projects in the Southeast Neighborhood and also the City of Springfield. 
  • The tree removal contractor has determined that log trucks will use Hilyard Street to travel to and from the site. Removal of downed trees will take approximately two weeks.


Earthwork:

  • Earthwork will begin mid-September and will last 6-8 months. 
  • This will be a disruptive period of noise and truck traffic. We will host another neighbor meeting in August (date TBD) to discuss construction details and mitigation. 

For more information, read our July 26 email to neighbors

July 9, 2021: On the evening of July 7, EWEB held a meeting on the project site to inform adjacent neighbors about the next steps and to kick off the landscape design process. Several Eugene areas residents attended as well.

Following is a summary of the information that was shared at the July 7 meeting:

Fencing and tree removal:

  • Fencing and erosion control will be installed during the last 2 weeks of July. The fencing will be chain link, and will be limited to the construction zone on the northeast side of the property. The west and south sides of the property will remain open to the public during most phases of construction. The fencing will remain in place throughout construction (2.5 - 3 years). 
  • During the last week of July, equipment will arrive at the site. Once the equipment arrives, a 24x7 security contractor will be onsite (in a truck parked at the Patterson St. entrance). The security is there to keep equipment safe and is a temporary measure until we have a more frequent presence at the site. 
  • Tree removal will begin in early August. The process to take down, chip and haul wood will take approximately 3-4 weeks. During that time, there will be chainsaw noise, chipper noise, and truck traffic. Work will not begin before 8 a.m. and will be complete by 4 p.m. Monday - Friday. 
  • Approximately 75% of the trees on the site will be left standing. Only the trees in the footprint of the tanks are being removed. 
  • We are keeping all of the downed wood in the community. When possible, we will create snags and leave downed trees on the site for birds and other wildlife to use for nests, nurseries, storage areas, and perching. Other downed trees are being donated to a City of Eugene wetlands restoration project, where they will continue to provide habitat long into the future, and for public use projects in the Southeast Neighborhood and also the City of Springfield.


Earthwork:

  • Earthwork will begin mid-September and will last 6-8 months. 
  • This will be a disruptive period of noise and truck traffic. We will host another neighbor meeting in August (date TBD) to discuss construction details and mitigation. 

For more information, read our July 9 neighbor email

June 1, 2021: On May 26, the project team hosted an online meeting with neighbors who live adjacent to the E. 40th water storage site. The meeting drew a small group (6 neighbors), which lent to a pretty informal presentation and conversation. 

The project team reviewed where the tanks will be constructed (previously shared with neighbors in April 14 email) and anticipated dates of activity at the site, which at this point include:


Pre-construction

  • Anticipated late July
  • Includes fencing and erosion control


Tree removal

  • Anticipated to begin August 2
  • Will take 6-8 weeks


Earthwork

  • Anticipated to begin September 15 
  • Will take 6-12 months, including drilling, blasting, excavation, and rock removal for both tanks


We also discussed how access to the site will change in the near future, and some things adjacent neighbors can expect in the coming months:

  • Fencing will change/limit access on the north side of the property throughout construction
  • The summit/viewpoint will remain accessible, but the ridgeline trail to the east will be closed
  • Tree removal will bring chainsaw noise, heavy equipment, log trucks
  • Patterson Street will remain open during tree removal; some traffic control is possible

thumbnail image of neighbor meeting video
Watch a video recording of the meeting.

Read June 1, 2021 email to neighbors.

May 10, 2021: Construction activity tentatively planned to begin August 2, 2021

With the important decisions about tank placement and construction sequence now established, the water storage project is moving into the detailed design, construction bidding, and scheduling phases. The following dates are tentative; we will update this site if the schedule needs to be pushed out due to weather conditions or any other potential delays.

    • May 12 - 14, 2021: Geotechnical fieldworkTechnicians from Foundations Engineering, Inc. will be on-site to perform additional fieldwork.

    • August 2, 2021: Anticipated date to begin tree removal. We estimate this work will take 6-8 weeks. Approximately 265 trees will be removed, which is around 25 percent of trees on the 10-acre site. For healthy trees that are on the margin of the construction zone, we will conduct critical root zone assessments to determine if the trees could potentially survive the disturbance and could therefore be left in place. When possible, we will create snags for birds and other wildlife to use for nests, nurseries, storage areas, and perching.

  • September 15, 2021*: Anticipated date to begin earthwork/excavation. We estimate this work will take 6-12 months for drilling, blasting, and excavation including rock removal and hauling for both tanks.

*On May 26, this date was updated from Sept. 1 to Sept. 15.

April 20, 2021: Construction of two new water storage tanks in SE Eugene to begin later this year
After more than a year of research and planning, EWEB is preparing to move forward with construction of new water storage facilities on an undeveloped property near E. 40th Ave in southeast Eugene. The 10-acre property was acquired by EWEB in 1950 as a future water storage site.

Preliminary plans had called for building one 7.5 million-gallon (MG) tank at the E. 40th site beginning in 2021, then returning several years later to build a second 7.5 MG tank. But at their April 6 meeting, EWEB's elected Board of Commissioners endorsed a decision to construct both tanks concurrently commencing in 2021. 

The decision follows multiple studies by EWEB and external parties to evaluate site layout and construction options considering drinking water safety and quality requirements, engineering and construction constraints, impacts to neighbors, environmental considerations, and costs.

Learn more (4/14/21 email to neighbors)

April 2, 2021: Many thanks to the 26 neighbors and Southeast Neighborhood Association Board members who joined us for socially distant meetings in early March! During the meetings, we provided neighbors with a comprehensive project status report, which is now published here. In our most recent email to neighbors, you'll find

  • A recap of the March 5-6 neighbor meetings
  • An update on tank siting and construction decisions
  • Links to project reports and April 6 Board meeting materials

Learn more (4/2/21 email to neighbors)

February 22, 2021: In this email to neighbors, you'll find:

  • Invitation to March 2021 neighbor meeting to discuss engineering and design process, site layout, and construction timeline. 
  • Information about February 2021 tree planting event
  • Heads up regarding activity at the site—gravel placement, weekly site checks by EWEB security, and more.

Learn more (2/22/21 email to neighbors)

December 17, 2020: As we prepare to close out 2020, we want to reflect on what was accomplished this year, share an update on work in process, and preview next steps. In our most recent email to neighbors, you'll find:

  • Year-end project status report
  • Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
  • What to expect in 2021

Learn more (12/17/2020 email to Neighbors)

November 6, 2020: Thank you to everyone who provided input to DOWL for the ecological study at the site. We expect to have the report back from DOWL by early December and will share it with neighbors.

A contractor will be on-site Nov. 9 - 13 to complete additional geotechnical investigations. Geotechnical investigations are used to evaluate the physical characteristics of the underlying soil and help determine appropriate excavation methods. In early 2019, a preliminary investigation indicated that blasting would be recommended at the E. 40th site. November 9-13, another contractor will be on-site to perform an additional round of geotechnical work and provide a second opinion.

Learn more (11/6/2020 email to Neighbors).

October 2, 2020: The Holiday Farm Fire delayed some work on the ecological study but things are now moving forward again. The study will identify sensitive habitat and species and help inform the tank design and landscaping plan to preserve and protect sensitive species during construction and restore the site to enhance the habitat afterwards. 

Surveyors have marked the preliminary center point and edges for the first tank.  The initial survey and markers are still preliminary-the tank placement may be revised a few feet in any direction as the detailed design work progresses. The surveyors also took measurements on Patterson Street for pipeline construction.EWEB Commissioners visited the property in late September to get a first-hand look at the preliminary tank siting and to better understand how the project will affect neighbors and habitat. In advance of the Oct. 6 Board meeting, the project team has provided an informational update to Commissioners in order to solicit additional Board guidance regarding the current project path.

Learn more (10/2/2020 email to Neighbors).

August 21, 2020: At the August 4 EWEB Board meeting, Commissioners approved a contract with Murray Smith Associates of Portland, OR for design and engineering-related services for new 7.5 million-gallon (MG) storage tank on the E. 40th Avenue site. The contract with Murray Smith Associates specifies that design services will be completed by spring 2021, which will allow construction to begin summer 2021.

To better understand and address the potential environmental impacts of this project, EWEB is contracting with the consulting firm DOWL to conduct an ecological study at the site. The study will identify sensitive habitat and species and help inform the tank design and landscaping plan to preserve and protect  sensitive species during construction and restore the site to enhance the habitat afterwards.  Learn more (8/21/2020 email to Neighbors).

June 25, 2020: The City of Eugene Planning Department has determined that construction of public water storage at the East 40th site is an allowed use, and does not require Planned Unit Development (PUD) approval. This decision creates more certainty for the timeline moving forward. Our goal is to complete the design and construction of one 7.5 MG tank at East 40th Ave. and bring that facility online by mid-2023. Learn more (7/2/2020 email to Neighbors).

May 21, 2020: An arborist will be on-site beginning the week of May 25 to assess and document the condition of trees on the east side of the property, in the area where the first tank will be constructed. This assessment will be used to develop a tree preservation plan, which is part of the permitting process. The arborist will mark trees to record which have been assessed. The markings do NOT indicate which trees may be removed or retained. They are simply for keeping track of which trees were evaluated. Surveyors will mark trees for removal at a later date. The arborist work is expected to take approximately four days over a two week period.

May 6, 2020: EWEB recently conducted a survey of neighbors who live adjacent to the E. 40th water storage site. The goal was to collect input about landscaping, walking paths and other features that honor the special nature of the 10-acre open space and ridgeline. Approximately 40 households were invited to participate in the online survey, which was administered in place of a community meeting due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements. See the survey results.

March 5, 2020: We held a meeting with immediate neighbors to introduce the project team, share early information about plans for EWEB's water storage facilities, and hear comments and concerns from neighbors who live adjacent to the site. We compiled some of the themes we heard at the meeting and posted them on our website.

College Hill

April 20, 2021: For the past year or so, you have been hearing about plans to replace the 15 million-gallon (MG) College Hill Reservoir with new water storage infrastructure. Construction had been planned to begin mid-2023, but a recent decision by the EWEB Board of Commissioners to focus the utility's efforts on building two new tanks at another site means that EWEB will have an opportunity to rethink the timing for rebuilding at College Hill.

We still plan to take College Hill out of service by the end of 2023, per OHA requirement, pending completion of the replacement storage at East 40th. But EWEB has not yet determined a new demolition and construction schedule for the concrete tank.

We will keep neighbors informed as we continue to assess and refine the construction plan for College Hill. Watch for communication later this year with updates on the public engagement timeline for both historic mitigation and landscape design.

Learn more (4/20/21 email)

December 17, 2020: As we prepare to close out 2020, we want to reflect on what was accomplished this year, share an update on work in process, and preview next steps. In our most recent email to neighbors, you'll find:

  • Year-end project status report
  • Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
  • What to expect in 2021

Learn more (12/17/20 email to Neighbors)

July 2, 2020: The City Planning Department has determined that construction of public water storage at the East 40th site is an allowed use, and does not require Planned Unit Development (PUD) approval. This news is significant to College Hill for two reasons: 

1) It means construction at College Hill likely will not begin until mid-2023.

2) It allows the option to site the new College Hill tank within the footprint of the existing reservoir.

Learn more (7/2/2020 email to Neighbors).

March 5, 2020: Landscapers will be on-site March 26 to blow-in grass seed and repair areas that were damaged during geotechnical work

February 24, 2020: The north side of the College Hill roof will be closed to the public from Feb. 25 - March 2 while a contractor works to re-seal the joints. These joints were resealed November 2018, but have failed. Temporary fencing will restrict access to the north side and the gate will be locked to prevent public access while this work is being done, and to allow cure time for the repairs. We anticipate that normal access will resume Monday, March 2. The south side of the reservoir will remain open as usual. 

February 21, 2020: EWEB will be working with a contractor to complete geotechnical investigations at our College Hill and Hawkins Hill water storage facilities. The purpose of the geotechnical investigations is to evaluate the physical characteristics of the underlying soil to aid in the design and construction of new water storage tanks. 

  • A contractor will put stakes in the ground Feb. 26 to mark boring locations.
  • Boring will take place between March 2 - 11 at both the College Hill and Hawkins Hill water storage facilities. The work is anticipated to take up to four days.
  • Hydraulic equipment will be used to drill multiple borings. The holes will be back-filled.
  • For safety reasons, some areas of the property may have restricted access during drilling.
  • The work may be noisy but will be contained to EWEB's site. 

January 30, 2020: We held a meeting with immediate neighbors to introduce the project team, share early information about plans for EWEB's water storage facilities, and hear comments and concerns from neighbors who live adjacent to the site. We compiled some of the themes we heard at the meeting and posted them on our website.

Hawkins Hill

July 9, 2021: Future updates planned for Hawkins Hills water storage
In addition to the work at E. 40th Ave. and College Hill, a third water storage project is in the capital plan-building two new 7.5 MG tanks at Hawkins Hill to replace the existing 20 MG tank built in the 1960s.
This project is still in the earliest planning stages. As planning progresses, we will reach out to neighbors to discuss site layout, construction, and other details.

These inter-related projects are part of a significant investment aimed at diversifying EWEB's water storage system with additional, but smaller tanks, to enhance resiliency, water quality, and systems operations.

Learn more (7/9/21 email to interest list)

February 21, 2020: EWEB will be working with a contractor to complete geotechnical investigations at our College Hill and Hawkins Hill water storage facilities. The purpose of the geotechnical investigations is to evaluate the physical characteristics of the underlying soil to aid in the design and construction of new water storage tanks. 

  • A contractor will put stakes in the ground Feb. 26 to mark boring locations.
  • Boring will take place between March 2 - 11 at both the College Hill and Hawkins Hill water storage facilities. The work is anticipated to take up to four days.
  • Hydraulic equipment will be used to drill multiple borings. The holes will be back-filled.
  • For safety reasons, some areas of the property may have restricted access during drilling.
  • The work may be noisy but will be contained to EWEB's site.