Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Irvington Tunnel Project Open House

Please Join Us for Coffee at the New Irvington Tunnel Project Open House

Thursday July 26, 2012
4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Mission Coffee
151 Washington Blvd
Fremont, CA

Please stop by and check in on the progress of the new tunnel.  Our project team is available to answer your questions and listen to your comments.

Project Update
Over 10,000  feet (out of 18,660) has been tunneled to date.  In June, miners excavating the new tunnel from the Irvington Portal in Fremont met miners tunneling west from the Vargas Shaft.  This hole-through marked the completion of the Irvington-Vargas tunnel segment.  

In early August, workers will install a 102-inch diameter steel pipe at the Irvington Portal 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.

We look forward to seeing you at the open house!

Please call 866-973-1476 or email fzamora@sfwater.org for more information. You can also visit www.sfwater.org/nit or www.sfwater.org/sunolvalley for project updates.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

From an Engineer’s Perspective

Annie Li gives us an exclusive, inside look at an engineer’s life at the SFPUC! As a senior civil engineer, Annie worked on the Alameda Siphon No. 4 Project in the Sunol Valley. The project entailed seismically-upgrading the pipeline, which extends approximately 3,000 feet from the Alameda East Portal across both the Calaveras Fault and Alameda Creek to the Alameda West Portal. Check out the video here to learn more about the project, some of SFPUC’s facilities and the road to becoming an engineer. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Calaveras Dam Replacement Project Team Reaches Milestone

The Calaveras Dam Replacement Team has been working hard since early April, scraping away at existing earthen materials to excavate for the dam foundation.  This week, the team has reached 1 million cubic yards of materials excavated, which would cover an entire football field 60 stories high.  A total of 7 million cubic yards of excavation is required for the entire project.  Approximately 3.5 million cubic yards will go into the construction of the new dam.

Our team has been operating scrapers daily, excavating approximately 20,000 cubic yards per day.  The scrapers operate with hydraulics using a blade which then scrapes materials into a drop can, carrying an average of 28 cubic yards per trip.  These materials are then moved to disposal areas within the project site. 

The Calaveras Dam Replacement Project Team Celebrates the first
Million Cubic Yards of Earth Moved on July 13th

Construction Manager Jordan Sukut representing the general contractor Dragados USA/Flatiron/Sukut Construction congratulates the field team on the milestone

For more project info, contact us at our 24 hour answer line at (866) 973-1476 or email mle@sfwater.org

Keeping Thirst at Bay

How do you keep thirst at bay while implementing major improvements to several key water systems? In this month’s issue of CE News, you can learn just how the Sunol Valley regional projects team does it! Click here to learn about how the teams are working to seismically upgrade 70-year-old water infrastructure, how they successfully built a new water lifeline across the Calaveras Fault and how they handle water shutdowns during construction. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Who’s Who Underground?

For almost two years we’ve discussed the ins and outs of tunneling. What is a road header? Do we still use canaries? Why do we have lasers? These are some of the questions that we’ve tried to answer since construction began nearly 2 years ago.

Here’s our next question: Who’s Who Underground?

For the answer to that question, we turn to the International Tunneling and Underground Space Association (ITA). A collaboration of 19 counties, ITA recently featured a New Irvington Tunnel inspector and geologist Rebecca Fusee in a web documentary promoting engineering careers in tunneling. The documentary features young underground engineering professionals working on complex projects around the world.     
Rebecca is featured at the 3:16 mark of the video. 

For this critical component of the Hetch Hetchy Water System, a tunnel inspector and geologist coordinates with miners throughout excavation. Rebecca and her colleagues document each step of excavation to ensure the contractor is working to design specifications. They also map the underground geology and analyze ground conditions. Over the course of construction, we’ll take a closer look at the men and women working in the new tunnel.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Protecting Migratory Birds at Calaveras Dam

Over the last 100 years, the state’s migratory bird populations have declined due to loss of habitat.  Here at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project, our teams make great strides to protect the population of our migratory birds.

Nesting season generally falls between February 15th to August 15th for most species. Our Environmental team performs focused surveys for active nests prior to the start of construction activity.  The staff survey for active nests of migratory birds and protected raptors, such as the Bald Eagle. 

Bird nesting deterrents such as reflective signs are also placed near or on construction equipment to prevent birds from nesting near work.  When active nests are found, our teams immediately place disturbance-free buffers around the active nest until the young have fledged successfully.  This year, a Bald Eagle pair successfully produced eagle chicks away from the Calaveras Dam project site at the nearby PG&E tower. 

For more project info, contact us at our 24 hour answer line at (866) 973-1476 or email mle@sfwater.org

Our Bald Eagle nest at the PG&E tower

Some bird species, such as the Black Phoebe shown above, nest on construction equipment. The equipment was monitored and remained unused until the nestlings fledged. 

Photos courtesy of Bill Stagnaro & Cullen Wilkerson, Calaveras Dam Project Environmental Team