National Public Works Week

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What #ClackCo does to support the infrastructure that protects the county

It’s easy to take infrastructure such as wastewater treatment services or traffic signals for granted when everything works like it’s supposed to. But imagine not being able to flush your toilet or not knowing if the roads you drive across every day are safe.

Clackamas County works 24/7 to make sure our roads and bridges are safe and your sewer service works to protect your family’s safety, health and our shared environment.

Since 1960, National Public Works Week has raised awareness of the tremendous amount of effort and resources it takes to make sure our infrastructure is there to protect public health, safety, our quality of life and the economy. This effort requires constant operation and maintenance, planning, designing, building and management.

Below is a look at the many ways Clackamas County ensures that the infrastructure you depend on is there to keep your safe every day of the year.

WES employee watches over water treatment plant

Providing clean water = healthy people and a safer environment

Effective wastewater treatment plays a huge role in separating our country from areas in the world that don’t have reliable sewer systems and face the risk of deadly diseases from dirty water.

Thanks in large part to advances in treating wastewater and producing cleaner water, the average life expectancy in the United States has more than doubled to 78.8 years during the past 200 years.

Clackamas County Water Environment Services (WES) operates and maintains over 370  miles of sewer systems and five wastewater treatment plants that serve nearly 200,000 customers. The treatment facilities clean a combined seven billion gallons of wastewater every year. In the process, WES converts materials that have long been considered “waste” into natural energy and fertilizer.

WES also provides water quality protection for the community by implementing programs and building and maintaining stormwater facilities to reduce pollution in our rivers, streams and wetlands caused by urban stormwater runoff.

The road to success is always under construction

Woman driving a pavement rollerThe Department of Transportation and Development maintains 1,400 miles of county roads, 2,400 miles of rock shoulders, 21 miles of guardrail and regularly repairs potholes, road deterioration and water damage. Our staff also makes sure that 69,808 road signs and 165 traffic signals are in good working order to keep you safe on the road.

In addition to making sure the roads are well-paved and safe, crew members also perform street sweeping, which allows for drainage of stormwater, controls pollution and improves safety, health and water quality.

Crews remove brush near roads over a 250-mile area while also maintaining 46 miles of roadside ditches to prevent road flooding and erosion after heavy storms every year. Transportation and Development staff also coordinate the Adopt-A-Road Program and is always long-range planning to make sure our roads are there to serve your travel needs.

They also maintain 186 county bridges to keep them strong and sturdy while preventing deterioration by painting the bridges and performing repairs whenever needed.

Canby Ferry is still going strong

Canby Ferry crosses the Willamette River

The Department of Transportation and Development operates the electricity-powered Canby Ferry, which provides transportation across the Willamette River between Canby and Wilsonville/Stafford seven days a week. In service since 1914, the Canby Ferry has been beloved by generations of Clackamas County residents who enjoy the scenic and relaxing trip across the river. 

Protecting our “green infrastructure” for your recreation

Man and woman walk their dog on a pathway

The Clackamas County Parks Division operates 16 parks and 4 property holdings totaling 961 acres. County Park staff maintain 212 campsites, 20 reservation picnic areas, 16 restrooms, 7 playgrounds, 6 watercraft launches, and over 1,500 parking spaces, as well as natural areas, open lawns, ballfields, sport courts, picnic areas, hiking trails, and the water systems and utility infrastructure needed to support all of those facilities.

Clackamas County Parks are located throughout rural Clackamas County, and provide for outdoor recreation activities such as camping, picnicking, fishing, hiking, swimming, wildlife viewing, and relaxing. County Parks provide access to the Willamette, Clackamas, Molalla, and Sandy Rivers, and Clear and Deep Creeks.

NCPRD promotes healthy living through parks and recreation

North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District (NCPRD) is a service district of Clackamas County dedicated to promoting healthy living through parks and recreation. 

NCPRD serves more than 105,000 residents in Milwaukie and the surrounding unincorporated area in Clackamas County. The District includes Hood View Park, Milwaukie Center, North Clackamas Aquatic Park, 35 parks, 287 acres of natural area and 15 miles of trails, including the six-mile Trolley Trail.