Friday, July 13, 2018

Sikorsky 58-JT helicopter at Alameda Creek Diversion Dam

Our teams have used many different kinds of equipment to build a fish ladder and other appurtenances at our Fish Passage Facilities within the Alameda Creek Watershed Project.

This past Monday, July 9, 2018, however, was a first: crews used a Sikorsky 58-JT helicopter. Why? The project site is remote, and the item to be transported was large.

Specifically, the contractor needed to move a 600-pound electrical box to an abutment of the remote Alameda Creek Diversion Dam. The helicopter picked up the electrical box at the staging area, located at the cattle corral and then lifted it to the left abutment of the Diversion Dam, which is located on SFPUC-owned property adjacent to the East Bay Regional Park District's Sunol Regional Wilderness.

A Sikorsky 58-JT  Helicopter makes quick work of transporting a 600 pound electrical box to the Alameda Creek Diversion Dam

The operation took just 20 minutes.

The Fish Passage Project is located in Sunol. The goal of the project is to provide for safe passage of fish around the Alameda Creek Diversion Dam to support the restoration of the Steelhead Trout to the Alameda Creek Watershed. 

The Alameda Creek Diversion Dam is visible in the distance. The electrical control building is located to the left. The project is at 92% completion and is expected to be finished this fall. 

The project is part of the SFPUC’s $4.48 billion Water System Improvement Program.

See you around the Valley!

Attention Sunol Regional Park Users:
Camp Ohlone Road will be closed to the pubic
Monday, July 16th-Wednesday, July 18th
Plan on using either Canyon View or Estes Trail 
to get to Little Yosemite.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Meet Manny Yeboah

Meet Emmanuel (Manny) Yeboah. Manny has been an employee of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) for over 10 years. He started his career with the SFPUC's Bureau of Environmental Management preparing categorical exemptions and mitigation monitoring reports. Currently, Manny is an Office Engineer for the Fish Passage/ACDD project and a Project Construction Manager for the Sunol Nursery Project. As a Project Construction Manager, Manny ensures that the project is running on time, on budget and that the Contractor’s operations comply with the contract specifications, drawings and permits.

He and his team are responsible for constructing the first nursery project of its kind for SFPUC. The Sunol Nursery Project is a $2.2 million dollar project located within the Sunol Temple yard. The new Sunol Nursery encompasses 1-acre and includes construction of new water storage tanks, garage, office building, shade house and a state of the art greenhouse structure with a cooling pad system. The purpose of this project is to propagate plants for the Alameda Creek Watershed Center, Sunol Yard and other SFPUC projects. The project is scheduled to be completed by October 2018.

Manny enjoys his role as a Project Construction Manager. When asked about his role as a Project Construction Manager he stated, "It’s a huge accomplishment to be in this position, I’ve worked hard throughout the years and now my goals are coming into fruition with me running an innovative project for the SFPUC."

Manny is no stranger to construction projects. He has worked as an office engineer for over 6 years and has a degree in Urban Studies Regional Planning from Cal State Northridge. When he is not working, Manny enjoys going to new restaurants, working out, and spending time with family.

If you ever see him around the valley, don't hesitate to say hello.

Friday, June 15, 2018

What's the Big Deal about an Approach Channel?

We are building a new earth and rock fill Calaveras Dam right next to the existing 93 year-old dam (directly downstream of the existing dam as they say in the dam industry.)  As many of our previous blog posts have been tracking, we have been busy building the new dam, foot by foot, from the bottom up like a layer cake. A very large layer cake.

Our Calaveras cake is high enough now to allow us to begin to excavate out the approach channel to the new dam this week.

"What is an approach channel?" you ask. An approach channel is a breaching of an existing dam in order for its adjacent reservoir to come in contact with it. We will remove a portion of the existing dam (500,000 cubic yards of it to be exact) to allow reservoir water to eventually fill in the space between the old dam and the new dam. The old dam will look like a peninsula in the reservoir when the project is done. 

"Why not remove the old dam in its entirety?" We don't have to. Complete removal would be expensive, environmentally difficult, and not necessary to operate the reservoir. 

The start of excavation of the approach channel means that we have reached a high enough elevation with the new dam to safely begin carving out a huge chunk of the existing dam. It's a coming of age for the new dam, if you will. A significant milestone. 

Here is what the approach channel looked like at the beginning of last week.

And, here is what it looks like this week.

The channel will be lined with large rocks called rip rap to protect it from erosion so the channel will be ready when we start to refill the reservoir this fall.

Approach channels may not seem exciting at first glance, but we at the SFPUC are thrilled!

See you around the valley!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Photo Friday at the Bay Division Pipelines

Happy Photo Friday!

We've been neglecting the Bay Division Pipelines in our East Bay Photo Series. So we thought we'd celebrate this Photo Friday with a couple of construction shots - from 1966.

Five Bay Division Pipelines transmit Hetch Hetchy and East Bay supplies through our two Irvington Tunnels to our 2.7 million Bay Area Customers.  Bay Division Pipelines 1,2, and the newest addition - 5 connect to a brand new water tunnel under San Francisco Bay on their way to the Peninsula.

Pipelines 3 and 4 pass through the South Bay overland on their way to the Peninsula. 

As you can tell, these are large pipelines. They are also crucial to our water transmission system.

We can't blame those kids. We think they're pretty cool, too!

See you around the Valley!

Monday, June 4, 2018

SFPUC Project Team Leads National Discussion about Dams and Ecosystems

In early April members of the Fish Passage Facilities project team went to Miami, Florida to present at the 38th United States Society of Dam’s (USSD) Annual Conference on behalf of SFPUC. This year's conferences theme was A Balancing Act: Dams, Levees and Ecosystems. It focused on the importance of environmentally sustainable water projects within diverse and sometimes fragile ecosystems.

Our Fish Passage Facilities team were selected to present their paper called "Fish Passage Facilities at the Alameda Creek Diversion Dam, Final Design and Construction Update."

The Fish Passage Project is located in Sunol.  The goal  project is to provide for safe passage of fish around the Alameda Creek Diversion Dam to support the restoration of Steelhead trout to the Alameda Creek Watershed.  The project is part of the SFPUC's $4.8 billion Water System Improvement Project (WSIP) to repair, and seismically upgrade portion of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water Sytem. Construction is expected to be completed in fall 2018.

Below is a photo of our fabulous four presenters: Eric Gee, Project Manager, Yen Ng, Engineer and Karl Tingwald, (former AECOM) civil engineer and Dan Wade, Director of Water Infrastructure Capital Projects and Programs.

We want to congratulate the Fish Passage team members for a job well done.

See you around the valley!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Memorial Day 2018

In observance of Memorial Day, our construction teams at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project, Fish Passage Facilities within the Alameda Creek Watershed (within EBRPD's Sunol Regional Wilderness) and the Sunol Valley Long Term Improvements (Water Temple) will not be working on Monday, May 30th.

Here is a photo of one of our D4 Dozer's working on the dam’s core at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project.

We hope all of you have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

See you around the valley!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Happy Infrastructure Week 2018

The Week of May 14 to May 21st is national Infrastructure Week! This is the week where public agencies across the nation highlight the importance of our nation’s infrastructure, and the need to maintain it.

At the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, our ratepayers had the foresight more than 10 years ago to allow us to pass the $4.8 billion Water System Improvement Program (WSIP). The program has 87 projects, spanning seven counties, to repair, replace, and seismically upgrade aging portions of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System. To date the program is more than 90% complete.

A tremendous amount of work was done in the Sunol Valley to ensure a seismically reliable water supply for our Bay Area customers.  The Calaveras Fault runs right through the Sunol Valley. The Calaveras Dam Replacement Project is the largest WSIP Project in construction, but there have been many others. Here are the highlights:  

Alameda Siphon #4. A high tech pipeline crossing of the Calaveras Fault designed to survive an earthquake. Completed 2013.

New Irvington Tunnel. A new seismically designed tunnel to connect the new Siphon with new pipelines in Fremont. Tunnel brought into service in 2015.

Upgrades to our Sunol Valley Water Treatment Plant to enable the plant to provide minimum demand to all of our 2.7 million customers on its own for up to 60 days. Completed 2015.

A complete new Bay Division Pipeline #5 to connect the New Irvington Tunnel to a new Bay Tunnel and the Peninsula. Completed 2016.

We've been posting videos on Facebook all week to highlight the SFPUC's efforts to upgrade your infrastructure. And at Twitter: #TimetoBuild. See the Facebook posts  here.  

See you around the Valley!