MILTON-FREEWATER — A long-anticipated water line project that will send clean drinking water to the Locust Mobile Village and the Out West Motel just outside city boundaries has been contracted.

Work is set to begin Sept. 23 and will affect the end of North Elizabeth Street and the shoulders of Highway 11, city officials said.

Pasco-based Premier Excavation Inc. submitted the winning bid of $568,394 to implement a design by Anderson Perry & Associates.

The project is funded by a grant from Oregon Health Authority’s safe drinking water program.

Getting clean water to the two locations has been years in coming. The mobile home park, nearly cheek-to-cheek with Highway 11 off North Columbia Street, is inside Milton-Freewater’s urban growth boundary but outside city limits.

In 2015, owner Nancy Shaw cited state law in a request to the city that it extend water service to the mobile home park to solve long-term well-water contamination problems.

However, that same year Oregon’s Legislature revised state laws so cities could no longer be forced to extend water lines to solve public health concerns.

The state grant means city taxpayers do not have to pay the cost of extending water to the mobile home park and motel, City Manager Linda Hall said in a special city council session in late August.

Over the course of the project, city workers will also replace an aging water line in the northeast section of town and upgrade those water meters out of the city’s capital budget.

The water line work will begin about Northeast 10th Avenue along North Elizabeth Street and move north along Highway 11 for some 3,300 feet, or about Cobb Road, said Public Works Director Brian Steadman.

In the future, homes and businesses along the line’s route will have an opportunity to tap into the city water supply, he said.

While North Elizabeth Street will be closed for part of the work, the hope is the highway’s shoulders will provide sufficient space so that road can remain completely open, Steadman added.

Sheila Hagar can be reached at or 526-8322.

Sheila Hagar has written for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin since 1998. Sheila covers health, social services and city government in Milton-Freewater, Athena and Weston in the Walla Walla Valley.