by the EWEB Water Storage Project Team
- Laura Farthing, Project Manager/Senior Civil Engineer
- Jen Connors, Communications Supervisor
- Jeannine Parisi, Customer Relationship Manager
- Wally McCullough, Water Engineering Supervisor
After more than a year of planning and neighbor outreach, EWEB will soon break ground on a project aimed at enhancing the safety and reliability of Eugene’s drinking water. Two new seismically resilient water storage tanks will be built on EWEB-owned property off East 40th and Patterson St. The construction project will create an intermittent increase in truck traffic beginning late summer 2021.
You can learn more about the East 40th project and other planned water storage improvements at eweb.org/waterstorage.
We would like to say thank you to Southeast Neighbors for collecting questions on behalf of the neighborhood and sending them to us in advance of your monthly Transportation Committee meeting.
We appreciate your interest in documenting the project and your concern for public safety. We also share your passion for open, transparent communication about the work. We also recognize that while all Eugene citizens benefit from this project, neighbors who live, play and work in the area will be highly impacted by construction process.
In response to your questions, here’s the information we have as of May 18, 2021:
Q: Can you tell us the number of trips per day and the routes planned for the logging trucks?
A: We do not have this information yet, as the trips and haul routes will be determined by the tree removal contractor. However, we to know that approximately 265 trees will be removed, which is around 25% of trees on the 10-acre site. Public bidding for the tree removal contract will open in the next week, and the bid will be awarded at the July 6 EWEB Board meeting.
Q: Can you tell us the number of trips per day and the routes planned for the dump trucks hauling away the construction debris?
A: We can share preliminary estimates at this time, which were developed as part of EWEB’s Final Tank Siting and Tank Sequencing Triple Bottom Line Analysis (posted on the project website). Our initial estimates are for approximately 15,750 total truck trips, which is roughly 100 dump trucks a day (so around 200 round trips) during the earthwork stage. Some days may be less and some days may be more, and it will not be a constant flow of trucks (they will be spread out). Once earthwork is complete, the number of truck trips will be substantially less.
Reducing the number of truck trips was a key factor in EWEB’s decision to construct both tanks at the same time. Constructing both tanks at once reduces the total truck trips by approximately 2,000 compared to building the tanks several years apart.
Q: Are the trucks going past Tugman Park? How much distance / lead time do they need to stop for bicycles or children?
A: As is typical for construction projects, the trucking route will be determined by the contractor and will depend on where the materials are coming from and where they are going to. However, Hilyard St & past Tugman Park does seem like the most logical choice. For context, there are about 5,000 car trips that go by Tugman park every day.
We want to assure you and other neighbors that safety is VERY important to us. It is one of our core values. On any given day, around 135 EWEB trucks are on the road going to and from job sites, reading meters, etc. Dozens of crews are working with heavy equipment and high voltage systems. We are responsible for safely delivering power and water to our community 24×7. We embed public and employee safety in everything we do.
For this project, like all others, the drivers will have to obey all traffic laws. EWEB’s specifications require the contractor to submit a safety plan in accordance with OSHA regulations prior to any work beginning and that they follow that plan. We are to monitor their workplace practices and speak up immediately if they are being unsafe or not following their plan. We will have onsite full time inspection services and that person will be the one watching their work habits and reporting any safety concerns ideally directly to the contractor and/or EWEB project manager.
Q: Who / what agency manages and communicates information about estimated construction traffic with other agencies / the public?
A: The EWEB project team will communicate that information with the neighbors through our interested parties email list and our website.
Q: Can a copy of the Construction Mitigation Plan be made available on the Southeast Neighbors website?
A: All materials for our project will be made available on our website, and SEN is welcome to link to the page or specific materials on our site. That allows us to easily track revisions and manage material to ensure it is accurate and up to date.
Q: Is it possible for a neighborhood or 4-J film crew with its own professionally certified safety officer to record photos, audio, and videos during construction of the 40th Water Storage project, so that it might be made available for others to use?
A: Any member of the public is permitted to photograph and/or film from outside the construction fence. We would like to talk with you about additional filming/reporting opportunities, and learn more about your interests. For example, there will be specific events that could make for good content (e.g. controlled blasting). We might be able to work out times for your news crew to gain access to the site and interview members of the project team, with advance notice and scheduling. Let’s talk more about this as we get closer to groundbreaking.
Southeast Neighbor and EWEB Water Storage Project Team Member Jen Connors is currently planning to attend Thursday’s Southeast Neighbors Transportation Committee meeting to share the latest information. The meeting will be held via Zoom starting at 7 p.m. and will also feature City of Eugene Transportation Planning Manager Rob Inerfeld, and opportunities to participate in the Lane County East 30th Project.
For the Zoom link, see the Southeast Neighbors calendar.