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Project Overview: (See Map Below)
The City of Ashland places priority on improving water quality and efficient water management. As part of the City’s Comprehensive Water Master Plan, the City plans to pipe the front section of the Ashland Canal (approximately 10,000 lineal feet) from Starlite Place to Terrace Street. The preliminary engineering phase (survey and field work) began in February 2018 and has been completed. Construction is not anticipated until late fall 2019 or early winter 2020, when irrigation water is not needed.
The goal of the piping project is to replace the open-channel irrigation canal with below-ground pipe(s) to improve the water quality in Ashland Creek and to reduce water loss from seepage and evaporation. In years when water supplies are limited, the Ashland Canal is used as a supplemental water source. The water is treated to drinking water standards at the City’s Water Treatment Plant (WTP). Raw water in an open canal is vulnerable to contamination from a variety of sources. These contaminants reduce the water quality of Ashland Creek. Ashland Creek routinely exceeds the State's maximums for E. coli bacteria in the summer months. Additionally, open canals are susceptible to water losses through seepage and evaporation. Water losses in the Ashland Canal are approximately 23% (2% to evaporation and 21% to seepage), equivalent to 62 million gallons over a summer season.
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Schedule of Meetings
Currently, there are no additional meetings scheduled.
- November 19, 2019 - Council Business Meeting (Council Chambers 6:00 p.m.)
- September 3, 2019 - Council Business Meeting (Council Chambers 7:00 p.m.)
- July 15, 2019 - Council Study Session (Council Chambers 5:30 p.m.)
- June 17, 2019 - Council Listening Session (Council Chambers 5:30 p.m.)
- April 1, 2019 - Council Study Session (Council Chambers 5:30 p.m.)
- February 4, 2019 – Council Study Session (Council Chambers 5:30 p.m.)
- January 31, 2019 – Community Meeting (SOU: SU 3rd floor Gallery Rm 5:30-7:30 p.m.)
- December 20, 2018 – Advisory Group Meeting (51 Winburn, Siskiyou Rm. 5:30-7:30 p.m.)
- November 13, 2018 – Advisory Group Canal Tour (51 Winburn Way Tour 2:30-4:30 p.m.)
- October 9, 2018 - Advisory Group Meeting (51 Winburn, Siskiyou Rm. 5:00-7:00 p.m.)
- May 2, 2018 – Parks Master Plan Open House (Senior Center)
- April 18, 2018 - Community Meeting (SOU, Stevenson Union, Arena Rm 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.)
- April 2, 2018 – Advisory Group Meeting (51 Winburn, Siskiyou Rm 5:30 -7:00 p.m.)
- March 6, 2018 – Neighborhood Meeting (SOU, Stevenson Union, Rm 319 4:00-6:00 p.m.)
Note: The Ashland Canal Advisory Group (ACAG) was formed with representatives from City of Ashland Commissions, local experts on water resources, wildlife, ecology, fire as well as homeowners who live along the canal.
November 25, 2019
On 11/19/19 the City Council voted to not complete any of the piping alternatives presented by the Canal Project Team. Staff is waiting for direction from Council before moving the project forward again.
July 15, 2019
Please click on the following link to view the latest report from the July 15th 2019 Council Study Session. 7.15.19 Council Study Session
April 5, 2019
April 1st Council Presentation
March 25, 2019
City Staff will be presenting more on the Ashland Canal Piping Project to the City Council during a study session on Monday April 1st. Please click on the links below to view the upcoming study session materials and presentation.
Council Communication - April 1, 2019
Recently Asked Questions
Canal Project Contacts
February 4, 2019
City Staff presented the Ashland Canal Piping Project to City Council on February 4th in a Study Session format. Council requested that a second study session be scheduled to continue reviewing the information. We will notify the public once a date has been chosen for the second study session. Please click on the link below to view the presentation.
Council Study Session Presentation
January 31, 2019
A community meeting and listening session was held on Thursday January 31, 2019 to discuss the proposed Ashland Canal piping project. Approximately 115 citizens and neighbors attended the meeting to hear a presentation from city staff detailing the findings from field research over the past year. Attendees were given the opportunity to voice their concerns and ask questions during the second half of the meeting. Below are the questions we received during the listening session. We will continue to work to provide answers to these questions. Additionally, a summary of the comments and preferred alternatives that were collected from the comment form that was handed out during the listening session can also be found below.
January 30, 2019
Jefferson Public Radio Interview
Click Here to listen
October 10, 2018
The City has received the preliminary engineering report from Adkins Engineering as well as the Ecological Report from Siskiyou Bio Survey. Please click on the links below do read the executive summaries.
Preliminary Engineering Executive Summary
Ecological Executive Summary
July 17, 2018
We are currently in the preliminary engineering phase of the project. We anticipate our engineering Consultant’s (Adkins Consulting Engineering) to have this phase complete by the end of August.
The City will receive the following items when the preliminary engineering is complete:
1. Preliminary Engineering Report
2. Preliminary Cost Estimate
3. 30% preliminary plans (will not include all details)
4. Geotechnical Study
5. Wetland determination and/or delineation (if necessary)
We are also trying to get a better understanding of how this project will impact the natural resources along the canal corridor. The City is working with Siskiyou BioSurvey LLC to complete a natural resources study and recommendations. We expect to have draft reports for these efforts also available to the ACAG by the end of August.
The following is included in the scope of work for Siskiyou BioSurvey:
A. Identify adverse impacts to vegetation and wildlife
B. Make suggestions for mitigation of adverse effects where possible
C. Summarize anticipated impacts to different tree species and age classes
D. Recommendations for plant restoration where necessary
E. Recommendations for wildlife enhancement where necessary
F. Recommendations for the control of noxious weeds
G. Recommendations for “traffic friendly” trail softening techniques
In addition, the Canal Project Team has been busy with the following items:
1. 17 individual meetings with Canal neighbors
2. Several media interviews/responses
3. Creation of additional public outreach items (additional website coming soon)
4. Two public meetings (neighbors and community)
5. Natural resources study (contracted to Siskiyou BioSurvey)
6. Coordination with City Staff, Consultants
Once the preliminary engineering phase is complete and the products are final the Public Works Department will begin contract negotiations with our Engineering Consultants to complete phase 1B and/or phase II. This new contract will be brought before City Council for award. If awarded, this phase is likely to include: permitting, easement modifications, construction work agreements and finalizing the plans and specifications (no construction in this phase). This work is likely to be complete by the summer/fall of 2019.
May 18, 2018
Adkins Consulting Engineers have completed the surveying process along the two mile stretch of the Ashland Canal. They will now use the data collected to draft preliminary engineering plans. We expect to have approximately 30% plans completed by the beginning of July.
We have also contracted with Siskiyou Bio Survey to complete an in depth analysis of the vegetation and trees along the canal. This evaluation will allow us to better understand how piping the canal may impact the local ecosystem. The report will also provide us with recommendations on best management practices to minimize these impacts.
February 22, 2018
The survey crew from Adkins Consulting Engineers is hard at work surveying the project area. Adjacent neighbors can expect to see workers along the canal for the next several weeks. This will not interrupt irrigation services during the 2018 watering season.
Community input and transparency are important for the City of Ashland. We invite you to share your concerns, ask questions of the Project Team and gain a better understanding of the project in general at our Community Open House. The Ashland Canal Open House is scheduled April 18, 2018 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the SOU Stevenson Union Arena Room (upstairs). To learn more about the Ashland Canal Piping Project email us call 541-488-5347 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
January 16, 2018
City Council approved a contract with Adkins Consulting Engineering, LLP to perform preliminary engineering work associated with piping a portion of the Ashland Talent Irrigation District (TID) canal. Additional project phases, if approved by City Council may follow this tentative schedule:
- Phase 1A: Preliminary engineering phase (survey and field work). This phase is currently underway.
- Phase 1B: Obtaining permits, easements and construction work agreements December 2018 – June 2019.
- Phase 2: Final engineering, June 2019 – December 2019.
- Phase 3: Construction of piping project, 2020 - Irrigation services will not be interrupted. Construction will take place in the late fall 2019 or winter 2020 when the canal water is not needed for irrigation.
Map of Project Area
1) Irrigation customers will continue to receive irrigation water during the watering season. If the project is approved by the Ashland City Council, construction will take place during the off season, late fall 2019 or early winter 2020.
2) Trail access will not be interrupted until construction begins. At that time, trail access will be limited in certain areas. We will update the public on where those closures will be when we move forward with construction planning.