Thursday, June 21, 2012

What's Next?

What do the San Francisco Giants and the New Irvington Tunnel have in common?  Last week they both achieved significant milestones!

For the Giants, Matt Cain pitched the first perfect game in team history.  Afterwards his teammates rushed onto the field and celebrated his incredible accomplishment.  For the new tunnel, two teams of miners completed a major tunnel section deep underground.  After the hole-through, miners shook hands somewhere under the mountainside to celebrate 13 months of grueling and hazardous work.

So what’s next? For Matt Cain it was an appearance on David Letterman and win against the Los Angeles Angels.  For the miners it’s more challenging work underground.

At the Irvington Portal miners will install a 102-inch diameter steel pipe that will eventually carry drinking water from the Hetch Hetchy system to 2.6 million Bay Area customers.  The pipe, manufactured in California, is installed in 50-foot sections and welded together inside of the tunnel.   Pipeline installation is expected to take three months. 

Towards the end of this year, the final shutdown (24/7 period) period will take place to install the last connection from the Bay Division Pipelines to the new tunnel.  After the winter shutdown, the remaining major construction items are the installation of above ground portal facilities and security measures and site restoration. 

The much longer 14,400-foot Alameda West-Vargas tunnel segment is currently being excavated and is expected to hole through in fall 2013.  After that 102-inch diameter steel pipe will also be installed and welded together inside of the tunnel.  

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