Utilities departments join forces on Hermiston Avenue project New water valves installed before road resurfacing work begins

Water Department working to replace 108 year old valve.

HERMISTON, Oregon — It’s all hands on deck as the City of Hermiston’s Water, Recycled Water and Street departments are teaming up on the Capital Improvements Plan project to upgrade Hermiston Avenue.

A contractor will begin resurfacing Hermiston Avenue from Southwest First Street to Southwest 10th Street on Monday, Aug. 5, so the Water Department used the opportunity to install eight new valves under the road, including a replacement for an inoperative 108-year-old mainline valve near the Southwest Fourth Street intersection.

The new valves will allow the Water Department to shut off water strategically in case of a leak in the area, limiting the impact on residents and businesses. The work required help from the Street Department to cut the asphalt and the Recycled Water Department to remove excess water flowing from the broken valve.

“By doing the work now, before the road is re-paved, we’re saving a lot of time and effort,” said Roy Bicknell, Hermiston Water Superintendent. “It was a great team effort by all the departments and I appreciate their help to get it done.”

aerial photo of maintenance work being performedThe Hermiston Avenue project is part of the Capital Improvements Plan, a comprehensive strategy approved by the City Council that identifies high priority utility and street upgrades, sets aside funding and coordinates a long-range schedule for all the departments.

The attached photos show the Hermiston Water Department crew replacing an inoperable valve from 1911 (108 years old!) under Hermiston Avenue on July 22.

“The Capital Improvements Plan has helped our departments align their work, making us more efficient,” said Mark Morgan, Assistant City Manager. “Ultimately, that saves taxpayers and ratepayers money and allows us to upgrade utilities at a faster pace.”

Work on Hermiston Avenue will resume following the Umatilla County Fair Parade on Saturday. Beginning Monday, Aug. 5, traffic will be limited to one lane between Southwest Third Street and Southwest 10th Street.

Hermiston Avenue will be closed completely between Southwest First Street and Southwest Third Street from August 11 through the end of September for a major overhaul. Businesses will remain open during the work.

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