Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sunol Valley Construction Updates for the Thanksgiving Weekend

The wild turkeys are out and about at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project. For the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, we wanted to share with you some reminders for our projects:

Calaveras Road Users:
The closed portion of Calaveras Road will be OPEN to the public this Thanksgiving Holiday on November 24, 2016 and the day after Thanksgiving on November 25, 2016. The road will be closed again on Sunday, November 27, 2016 at 11:00 p.m.

Please see more details by visiting www.sfwater.org/calaverasroad
Thank you for your ongoing patience during our road closure.

Calaveras Dam Replacement Project
Constructions crews are off on the Thanksgiving  Holiday on November 24, 2016 and the day after Thanksgiving on November 25, 2016. Regular work will resume on November 28th.

Fish Passage Project within Alameda Creek Watershed
Constructions crews are off this week and there will be no construction activity at the Fish Passage project site located in Sunol Regional Wilderness Park. Regular work will resume on November 28th.

From all of the construction teams, we hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Fish Passage Facilities Project Celebrates Milestone for the Season

This week, the construction teams for the Fish Passage Facilities within Alameda Creek Watershed Project celebrated a few milestones. In preparation for the winter, much work must be completed within the stream. They have completed critical in-water work within the stream bed for the season. This work included completion of the conveyance structure. We also completed a concrete slab for the intake structure. The new intake structure will be constructed next year. All of this was work was completed while maintaining a safety record with zero recordable incidents this year.

View of conveyance structure completed with the Alameda Creek Diversion Dam in the background. The stream channel was also backfilled with river rock to winterize the site.

The construction teams took a break for a photo today
to celebrate maintaing a safety record for the project

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Building the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project Safely

Today, the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project took a moment to celebrate another safety milestone. We have reached over 105,000 safety hours with zero recordable incidents for this quarter. 

Our crews from the joint venture of Dragados USA, Flatiron and Sukut Construction have been working both day and night shifts in Sunol Valley. This safety record is very impressive with all the major work that has involved operating heavy machinery, prepping the foundation for the new dam, importing of materials to the site and placing materials to build the replacement dam. Along with a great safety record, we have also brought on over 280 new local hires to the project this quarter. 

Since construction began in 2011, we have reached over 1.4 million total working hours on the job. Our project has not had any lost time recordable incidents since 2012. We strive to maintain our safety culture here at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project as we continue the critical work ahead to construct the replacement dam. 

Calaveras Dam workers pose for a photo today at the Safety Milestone celebration

Our workers have been working in tight areas where safety is always a priority

Friday, November 4, 2016

Photo Friday Fall Back

It is that wonderful weekend of the year when we gain an extra hour of sleep as daylight saving time ends. 

Thinking about those lighter mornings, here's a photo of dawn at San Antonio Reservoir in our Alameda Creek Watershed. 

See you around the Valley! And don't forget to set your clocks back one hour at 2:00 a.m. this Sunday!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Spooky Old Adits

We wanted to share a spooky tale from the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project. It seems even state-of-the-art construction projects aren’t without their spooky places.

While moving the rock and soil to make space for the new replacement Calaveras Dam, workers uncovered what looked like holes dug into the area surrounding the existing dam.
The holes are actually adits excavated by the builders of the first Calaveras Dam. 

Technically, an adit is an entrance or tunnel into a mine. Back in the early 1900’s the best way engineers had to explore the rock and soil for a damsite was to excavate adits to look at the underground geology. There are 16 total adits that were uncovered at the site.

We knew about the presence of these adits before we started to dig for the new dam foundation. However, it didn’t ease the creepy feeling workers had when they uncovered them. And some even claim equipment broke down and didn’t work properly while they were working around the adits, as if they were haunted.

The adits are mapped and filled in with concrete or rock to stabilize the ground prior to constructing the new dam on top, and to seal in any spooks that might be still be there…just in time for Halloween! 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Photo Friday in Sunol Valley

This week we wanted to share a snapshot of construction underway at the
Fish Passage Facilities in Sunol Valley. The photo below shows the new intake structure and conveyance tunnels under construction upstream of the Alameda Creek Diversion Dam. The Fish Passage Facilities Project is located on SFPUC property adjacent to the Sunol Regional Wilderness. Completion of the project will support the restoration of steelhead trout to the Alameda Creek watershed. Happy Friday!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Remembering Loma Prieta – And Preparing for the Next Big One

Monday, October 17th is the 27th anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake. The 6.9 magnitude quake shook the earth for 15 seconds, took the lives of 67 people and injured almost 3,000 more. There was an estimated $6 billion in property losses. We here at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission have been preparing for the next big quake ever since.

As the owner and operator of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System that serves water to 2.6 million people in four Bay Area counties, we have worked for more than 10 years to repair, replace, and seismically upgrade vulnerable portions of this system as part of the $4.8 billion Water System Improvement Program (WSIP). The program itself is more than 90% complete. Our water system is safer and more reliable today than it was 10 years ago, let alone 27 years ago. Our promise is that we can deliver minimum demand to our customers within 24 hours after a major earthquake. We can make good on that promise because of WSIP.

Here’s just a few reasons why:

* The Bay Tunnel is a seismic lifeline carrying water under San Francisco Bay. It was brought into service on time and under budget in October 2014.

* The New Irvington Tunnel carries water between our East Bay and Hetch Hetchy supplies and our Bay Area Customers. Located between the Calaveras and Hayward Earthquake faults, this seismically designed tunnel allows us to take the existing 88 year-old tunnel out of service for maintenance.

* A new Bay Division Pipeline #5 connects to both of these new tunnels in the East Bay and on the Peninsula to provide greater delivery reliability to our customers. It replaces two pipes that were constructed in 1926 and 1935.

Wait, that’s not all!

We upgraded our Sunol Valley Water Treatment Plant, which treats water from San Antonio and Calaveras Reservoirs. It can now treat enough water to support our entire service territory on its own (160 million gallons of water per day) for up to 60 days after a major earthquake.

Water treatment trains at our newly upgraded Sunol Valley Water Treatment Plant

Two major transmission lines sit on major traces of the Hayward Fault in Fremont. We used cutting-edge technology on our Bay Division Pipelines 3 and 4 to allow one of them to absorb up to 6.5 feet of horizontal displacement and 9 feet of compression while still remaining in service.   

A slip joint at the Seismic Upgrades to the Bay Division Pipelines 3 and 4 at the Hayward Fault Crossing allows the pipe to absorb up to 9 feet of compression during an earthquake.

This work is never done. We will continue to replace and upgrade our system pipelines, pump stations, and treatment plants even after the WSIP is complete. We’ll worry about your water so you won’t have to.