The city of Ashland over the coming year will be relocating the outfall of the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) from Ashland Creek to Bear Creek to comply with new state water quality regulations. The outfall is the location where treated water from the WWTP is discharged into the creek.

The city will soon begin Phase I, which includes construction design and field data collection along the Greenway. Users may see contractor staff and drilling rigs collecting geotechnical data in the area from Wednesday, Jan. 31, through Tuesday, Feb. 6. Trail disruptions are only expected for two to three days within this window, and the exact dates of the disruptions are to be determined.

While the trail will remain open, users may experience temporary disruptions on the stretch of trail between the WWTP and the bridge over Bear Creek. While drilling equipment is being used along the trail, barricades will be placed on the trail and cyclists will be asked to walk their bicycles for about a quarter mile to ensure the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and workers. The drilling should be completed in two to three days.

Final construction of the outfall pipeline is planned for summer 2019. The outfall will be located approximately 65 feet downstream from where Ashland Creek flows into Bear Creek. The route of the pipeline will follow the Bear Creek Greenway from the WWTP to the point of discharge in Bear Creek. This route was selected, in part, for its minimal impact to sensitive habitat. In addition, resurfacing of the impacted area of the Greenway will benefit all users, the city said in a news release.

As the city proceeds with the design and permitting process, it plans to provide information to the public and coordinate with stakeholders. The city plans to hold an open house in spring 2018 to share information about the project and collect input on how to minimize disruptions to Greenway users during construction.

More information will be available at www.ashland.or.us/healthycreeks, including updates on trail disruption dates.