Judy Reservoir to Mount Vernon Transmission Pipeline Project

Construction on Phase II of the Judy Reservoir to Mount Vernon Transmission Pipeline Project began in July 2021. The total budgeted project cost is $40 million. Scarsella Brothers, Inc. out of Kent, Wash. is the contractor. Phase II will be installed within the right of way and private property in Mount Vernon and unincorporated Skagit County. Installation is approximately 5.3 miles of 36-inch diameter welded steel transmission pipeline.

Project Overview

In 2010, Phase I of the Judy Reservoir to Mount Vernon Transmission Pipeline project was completed for $4.2 million. Phase I was 1.6 miles and followed the Kulshan Avenue right-of-way in Mount Vernon. The 36-inch diameter ductile iron pipeline connects to an existing transmission line at North LaVenture Road.

Why do the project now?

The original 24-inch diameter concrete cylinder pipe was installed in the early 1960s. Large sections of the existing transmission line are virtually inaccessible most of the year due to surface and groundwater levels. Recently, several significant line breaks have substantiated that the pipe’s useful life is ending. Long-term planning further indicates that demand is outgrowing the capacity of the pipe. A new pipeline will provide operational benefits, including installed meters to help track distribution system loss and provide audit control.

Phase II is partially funded through the Washington State Public Works Board program and the Washington State Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

This project includes many logistical challenges, including disruptions to property, sensitive wetland areas, and traffic along the route:

  • Five miles of steel pipe installed by open trench construction
  • 1,899 feet of horizontal directional drilling under the Nookachamps Creek
  • Crossing of the East Fork Nookachamps Creek with the construction of a new 200-foot single-span bridge
  • Roadway crossings of state Route 9 and state Route 538 (East College Way)
  • Protection of existing utilities
  • Pavement restoration
  • Restoration of streams, riparian vegetation, and wetlands
  • Property restoration of impacted parcels

Community Benefits

The Judy Reservoir to Mount Vernon Transmission Pipeline project:

  • Provides a safe and reliable potable water source for residents. 
  • Ensures adequate water flow.
  • Reduces the water system’s seismic risk.
  • Eliminates costly emergency repairs.
  • Prevents water loss.

Progress Report

January 10, 2023

Significant work remaining on the transmission pipeline project includes:

  • Distribution piping on Beaver Lake Road
  • Pipe bridge fabrication and construction over the Nookachamps Creek east crossing
  • Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) installation under Nookachamps Creek
  • Crossing College Way to the project terminus
  • Restoration and commissioning

Over the past couple of weeks, the contractor has focused on distribution work at Beaver Lake Road, where four large vaults are being set for meters and pressure-reducing valves to the distribution system. This work is roughly 75% complete. The contractor has also been completing fencing and restoration work from Fox Road to the Water Treatment Plant at Judy Reservoir. This segment of restoration work is approximately 90% complete. In late January, the HDD contractor will mobilize on-site to complete the HDD work. The pipe bridge remains in fabrication.



November 4, 2022

  • The majority of the 5.3-mile transmission pipeline is installed. Crews will mobilize in early January to bore a new 1,900-foot horizontal directional drill hole under the Barney Lake Conservation Area off East College Way. Welded pipe sections will then be pulled through the hole and connected to the rest of the system.
  • Restoration work continues up on the hillside above Clear Lake. Fencing, gates, and road restoration work is wrapping up this month.
  • Temporary road striping will be installed on Old Day Creek Road between the Morford Road intersections.
  • Crews are preparing to take the current transmission line out of operation and begin using the new 36-inch pipeline from the Water Treatment Plant down the hillside to Fox Road.
  • The contractor is installing fiber conduit from the bottom of the hill on Fox Road headed toward Beaver Lake Road.



September 22, 2022

  • Hydroseeding and restoration work continue on the hillside properties south of Old Day Creek Road. 
  • Fencing restoration is forthcoming in another two weeks when the gates and materials arrive on-site.
  • Customer tie-ins to the distribution system are now completed on the hill.
  • The contractor is making progress installing the pipeline and has crossed over Beaver Lake Road. Work slowed on the west side due to road utilities and groundwater conditions. There are only 28 sticks of pipe left to go to complete the run from Fox Road to the East Fork of the Nookachamps Creek bridge. 
  • Work continues at the horizontal directional drill site off East College Way.



July 14, 2022

Restoration work continues in the Wayward Way, Merrifield Road, Graber Lane, and Timber Lane areas off Old Day Creek Road. Restoration and landscaping should be completed along this route of the pipeline project in August. A wet June slowed work along this section. Work continues at the east fork of the Nookachamps Creek with the construction of a new 200-foot single-span bridge. The contractor is laying pipe on the east side of state Route 9 on the railroad grade.


May 12, 2022

Crews completed the tie-in and activated the new pipeline section from Judy Reservoir Water Treatment Plant down the hillside to Fox Road. 

On Tuesday, May 17, our contractor, Scarsella Bros., will install a new 8-inch water distribution main along Timber Lane as part of the Judy Reservoir to Mount Vernon Transmission Pipeline Project. Although it will only take a day to complete, absolutely no vehicle traffic will be allowed on Timber Lane from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. while the installation is in process. If the work progresses faster than anticipated, Timber Lane will reopen before 7 p.m.

When finished, the water supply for your meter will come from the distribution line on Old Day Creek Road instead of directly tapped off of the larger transmission line as it is currently. This action will significantly reduce the likelihood of water service being interrupted in the future due to maintenance activities.

As part of the restoration work, Scarsella Bros. will follow up with asphalt repaving on Timber Lane by the first week in June. The exact date is not yet confirmed. Although delays may occur, the contractor will provide vehicle ingress and egress to the area while repaving is underway.

Transmission pipeline installation continues along the west side of state Route 9 from Gunderson Road, headed toward Clear Lake.


April 1, 2022

Our contractor, Scarsella Brothers, has finished installing 2,000 feet of 36-inch diameter pipe, a smaller distribution water line, and a communications conduit in the right of way of Old Day Creek Road. 

Depending on the weather conditions, paving and road striping will start early next week — April 4-6. 

The contractor is a few days ahead of schedule and anticipates re-opening the road to traffic the week of April 11. 

Around the middle of May, crews will tie in and activate the new pipeline section from Judy Reservoir Water Treatment Plant down the hillside to Fox Road. Our distribution department is working with the contractor to plan the logistics for this step to minimize service disruption. Some PUD customers along the route may be without water for a few hours while crews perform the work. We will provide advance notice to affected customers. 

March 16, 2022

Our contractor, Scarsella Brothers, continues to make good headway on Old Day Creek Road with over 1,700 feet of pipe (out of 2,000 feet) installed in the right of way. Scarsella will be working onsite again this Saturday. Look for flaggers.

The nighttime road closure ends on Monday. However, the Old Day Creek Road section from milepost 3.60 to milepost 3.90 is still closed during daytime hours until mid-April. The work zone detour route remains via Morford Road.

During the next 30 days, crews will install a smaller distribution water line, communications conduit, plus perform restoration work and final paving.

Around the middle of May, crews will tie in and activate the new pipeline section from Judy Reservoir Water Treatment Plant down the hillside to Fox Road. This portion has been susceptible to significant breaks in the last few years. Some PUD customers along the route may be without water for a few hours while performing this work. Advance notice to affected customers will be given.

The contractor is working as quickly as possible to get this wrapped up. Scarsella has asked for help in keeping everyone safe. People are stopping by and walking out into the job sites. There is genuine concern that someone will get hurt. Only authorized personnel are allowed in areas where construction crews are working due to safety issues.

February 15, 2022

The general contractor, Scarsella Brothers, has installed the 36-inch welded steel transmission line beyond Graber Lane, completed the crossing of two Williams natural gas pipelines, and continues uphill toward Timber Lane. Recent work has impacted the adjacent residents as construction moved close to their property. The contractor is very attentive and tries to respond promptly to the residents’ concerns along this segment. We appreciate everyone’s patience. Work will continue between Timber Lane and the Water Treatment Plant until other seasonally dependent areas open up for construction. 

Advanced notification planning and material procurement are currently occurring in preparation for the approved work window within the OId Day Creek Road right of way.  Starting the first week of March, a road closure and detour route along Old Day Creek Road will run from Morford Road to the Water Treatment Plant. The contractor is simultaneously preparing for boring under State Route 9 and a 1,900-foot horizontal directional drill under Nookachamps Creek. 

The transmission pipeline installation is 27.5% complete. 

December 20, 2021

The construction limits for the entire project corridor have been delineated, cleared, and prepped with temporary erosion, sediment control, and containment measures. The contractor took delivery of the initial load of pipe from Northwest Pipe Company in late summer and immediately began installing it in areas prone to high groundwater levels, such as the area between Clear Lake and Beaver Lake. Doing so allowed the contractor to take advantage of the seasonally low surface/groundwater level. 

Fall and winter rains have brought the return of high groundwater to the area. Preparing for the change, the contractor has shifted from working near the lakes and is installing the new line up the hill to Graber Lane. Work will continue between Graber Lane and the Water Treatment Plant until other areas open up for construction. At present, the project is approximately 20% complete.