BEND, OR -- After more than a decade of planning, lawsuits and construction, the Bridge Creek Pipeline Replacement Project is nearly done. The project is part of the city of Bend’s effort to comply with drinking water filtration rules originally imposed in 2012. But, that was extended as the city fought lawsuits filed by Central Oregon Landwatch.
Engineering Director Tom Hickman says aside from the lawsuits things have gone smoothly. "As it stands today, the treatment plant, we are doing testing operations. On the pipeline, the pipeline is complete all the way to the intake. And, all that needs to be done is to connect it to the intake; and the intake is currently under construction."
Hickman tells KBND News, "We’ve tested the pipeline to make sure it could handle the flows and pressures; we were able to do that before we demolished the old intake structure. We’ve now drained the pipe so we could take down the old intake structure and reconstruct the new one. While we’re doing that, we’re actually running well water through the treatment plant to test all of the operations of the treatment plant."
Trails near Tumalo Falls reopened to hikers on Saturday, but the trailhead parking lot remains closed to allow for the heavy machinery needed to build that new intake structure. "We have until April first, under the state rules who is enforcing the federal rules, to have our treatment plant fully functional. We actually believe we’ll be able to hit that milestone by the end of December," Hickman says.