View Full Version : More Fanno Creek Trail Closures possible from planned BES sewage pump station

09-24-2011, 03:15 PM
I'm not sure whether I should post this here since it concerns the West Side, or under the Route Info forum because it concerns a route. So I mentally flipped a coin and I'm posting it here. There are a couple of Fanno Creek articles under Route Info, too.

I went to a CPO3 meeting back on 9/15/2011 at the Garden Home Recreation Center. "CPO" is Citizens Participation Organization. They are Washington County's answer to Portland's and Beaverton's neighborhood associations. One of the topics of tonight's agenda was Portland's Bureau of Environmental Service's (BES) plans for the pump station expansion along Fanno Creek west of Oleson, south of the Portland Golf Club, at the south end of SW 86th, next to the Fanno Creek Trail. Yes, this is an additional pump station beyond the one that BES already has there.

My concern was about continued closures of the Fanno Creek Trail. For those who have not been following this, the trail was closed so that BES's contractor could lay pipe, initially. Then, they closed the trail again so that BES's new contractor could replace the original pipe, which leaked. Recently, BES has closed the trail again because the new replacement pipe leaked.

The other people attending were nearer neighbors concerned about yet additional expansion of this facility which doesn't really serve our area, noise from the construction, on-going noise from its operation, odors, whether BES could just as easily pay Washington County's Clean Water Services (CWS) to expand CWS's capacity to handle more sewage at Durham, how come it is so much bigger than the double car garage sized facility which was initially discussed 12 years ago, almost $2 million to buy an additional house which will be subsequently razed for siting the new facility, are our houses just junk that's in your way, couldn't they move the pump to an industrial area, etc.

The BES representatives (Mr. Sykes and another gentleman who's name I did not catch) talked about how they had been turned down for an expansion of this facility by Washington County in 2010, how they still needed it to handle storm water overflow (why that matters to a sanitary sewer, I'm not sure) how BES and CWS each hired their own consultants to investigate why just routing the sewage to Durham would not work, that if BES did not get this facility and was forced to route to Durham, how it would mean that there would have to be a sewage pump station and a "force main" located somewhere else, mitigation they are doing for some of the neighbors, etc.

Of concern to bicyclists reading this forum are if BES gets Washington County to approve BES's plans, construction would start in 2013 and last until 2015. There will be additional closures of the trail for the new construction. Among other questions, I asked whether they might consider mitigating the situation for bicyclists by making Garden Home Road west of Oleson, and 92nd from Garden Home Road to Allen, complete streets with sidewalks and bicycle lanes. After all, they are going to have the trail closed for 2 additional years, and they had enough money to buy an almost $2 million house and its property for the new pump station, and they are doing other mitigations, so why not? Mr. Sykes said that they would only have the trail closed intermittently in 2013-2015. I pointed out that I unexpectedly had hit the detour due to the current trail closure, just that morning, and I ended up on the poorly maintained bike lane on Garden Home Road. I hadn't read Mr. Sykes' latest email about the trail closure.

BES said that they plan to go try to get Washington County approval in the first quarter of 2012. The CPO3 chair correctly pointed out that if we wanted to stop this, that's where we would have to do it. While the BES representatives are government employees, in this case they are not representing a government in which we vote, so the place to stop it was when it went before Washington County. Someone at the meeting said that the facility would come in under a Type III proceeding. I'm not sure if that means a hearing, or only a hearing if someone asks for it, whether the hearing is before the County Commission, or the Planning Commission and then a possible appeal to the County Commission.