LandWatch files in federal court to stop Bend water project

Oct 04, 2012

Bend Bulletin

LandWatch files in federal court to stop Bend water project

Opponents of the Bridge Creek water-pipeline project are asking a federal judge to put construction, expected by the city of Bend to begin Wednesday, on hold.

Central Oregon LandWatch filed a request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction last night with the U.S. District Court in Eugene, trying to stop overhaul of the pipeline, according to the court. Last week the group filed a lawsuit, questioning U.S. Forest Service approval of the pipeline project.

The $20.1 million project would replace two pipelines, which draw water from Bridge Creek west of town, with one pipeline. The existing pipes were installed in the 1920s and 1950s and are crumbling, said city spokesman Justin Finestone.

The Forest Service earlier this year rejected appeals to the project filed by Central Oregon LandWatch with the Deschutes National Forest and then the Pacific Northwest Regional Office.

Contractors this week began staging equipment and materials along Tumalo Falls Road. The road is set to be closed most of the time until May, which construction is expected to end.

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