Friday, September 28, 2012

Calaveras Dam Replacement Project Celebrates 1 Year

This week marks a full year since  the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project Team broke ground in September 2011.   Over the past year, the Project Team achieved many milestones.

  • They moved more than 1 million cubic yards of excavated materials,
  • dug down far enough to reach the dam foundation,
  • completed an active water treatment system on site,
  • constructed the foundation of a supporting dike under a disposal site,
  • erected a soldier pile wall for the right abutment of the future dam,
  • began construction of a new intake shaft and
  • connected adits and tunnels to the system.
Through this major work, our team has faced many challenges and discovered unforeseen findings along the way due to the complex nature of the project site.  As the team continues to meet the many challenges with their shared sense of teamwork and joint efforts at problem solving, the team took a moment to celebrate the first year of construction. In the coming months, we will share more construction updates with you.

Calaveras Dam Replacement Project Team Managers L:R (Shawn Golden of Dragados USA /Flatiron/Sukut Joint Venture, Alberto Benlloch of Dragados USA /Flatiron/Sukut Joint Venture, Dan Wade of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Terry  King of the Construction Management Team, Jordan Sukut of Dragados USA /Flatiron/Sukut Joint Venture) celebrate one year of construction.

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

Mikey's Travels: Post #4, PowerPoint, Bar Charts and an Exclusive Look at the World’s Premier Tunnel Equipment Plant

September 25 & 26: Strasbourg Tunnel Seminar and the Herrenknect Plant

New Irvington Tunnel Project Manager David Tsztoo and Construction Manager Dan McMaster have been invited on a prestigious tunneling information and technical exchange with their tunneling counterparts in Europe. Since they are on their own time, they invited our Mikey to join them…. We join them in Strasbourg.
Mikey couldn't wait for the presentations to start!

Dave and Dan enjoy presentations from their tunneling colleagues but you haven’t met anyone more excited about a day-long tunnel seminar than Mikey! 

A presentation on the Port of Miami Tunnel?  Forget about breakfast this is what gets Mikey going in the morning!

An overview on the successful use of shielded TBMs on a New York City subway project? Mikey likes it! He really likes it!

An in-depth technical discussion on how designers can specify large cross section final lining forming system performance using a new DIN standard for form performance requirements?!?! 

Okay, this one flew over Mikey’s head. But after Dave and Dan explained it to him…Mikey was in awe.

Dave, Dan and Mikey also had dinner with Dr. Martin Herrenknect who delighted them with stories from his life and how the Herrenknecht Group became the premier TBM manufacturer in the world! For the foodies out there, Dr. Herrenknect treated his guests to veal shoulder steak with vegetables and spatzle, pate, salad and snatpz.

The next day our tunnel adventurers departed for the much anticipated tour of the Herrenknecht Plant where all sorts of TBM's are being designed and manufactured.  After welcoming remarks by Dr. Herrenknecht we divided up into groups and saw the plant in action.   Mikey marveled as he watched large tunnel boring machines being assembled and steel segment moulds in fabrication. David and Dan were equally impressed as they watched shop engineers and technicians pre-assemble the full scale TBM's on the grounds to check for quality control.  

Up next? Serpiano, Switzerland - to a railway tunnel using mechanized drill and blast from four different headings!

Before Strasbourg David, Dan and Mikey were checking out Tunneling in Saverne, France.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mikey's Travels: Post #3, Tunneling in France

Monday Sept. 24, 2012:
New Irvington Tunnel Project Manager David Tsztoo and Construction Manager Dan McMaster have been invited on a prestigious tunneling information and technical exchange with their tunneling counterparts in Europe. Since they are on their own time, they invited our Mikey to join them…. When last we left them they were in Zurich.

Our jet lagged travelers stumbled onto an early bus from Zurich to Saverne, France this morning.

After three hours, they arrived at the LGV East Saverne Railroad Tunnel Project to find a completely deserted site. No people. No tunnel boring machine. Turns out, the bus driver accidently took them to the wrong end of the tunnel! 

After a good laugh, the group found their way to the correct side of the tunnel to find their hosts at Vinci Construction patiently waiting for the lost bus.

Mikey, Dan, and David were quite impressed with the tunneling operations. The Saverne Tunnel Team later provided detailed project presentations to their guests. The tunnel is a twin bore through sandstone and softer ground, and at the time of their visit it was getting ready to bore the second tunnel heading.

Mikey and David checkout the Saverne TBM

Little Mikey made a lot of friends at the site.

Our travelers then headed to Strasbourg, France for a two-night stay.

Mikey enjoys Strasbourg, France.. and the French cheeses!
There the three enjoyed an excellent traditional French dinner (roast chicken, pate and salad, and dessert cheeses with breads, for you foodies) before turning in early to get ready for tomorrow’s technical presentations.

David, Dan,and Mikey visit the Strasgbourg Cathedral and take a break before tomorrow's technical sessions.

Au revoir!

Where were David, Dan and Mikey before Saverne?  Check out their Arrival in Zurich!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mikey's Travels, Post #2: Arrival in Zurich

New Irvington Tunnel Project Manager David Tsztoo and Construction Manager Dan McMaster have been invited on a prestigious tunneling information and technical exchange with their tunneling counterparts in Europe. Since they are on their own time, they invited our Mikey to join them.

Saturday, September 22, 2012
David, Dan and Mikey depart for Zurich.

Apparently Mikey and David encountered some issues with their steel-toed boots and laptop when going through security at the airport.

Sunday, September 23, 2012
Arrival in Zurich.

Despite their jet lag, David, Dan and Mikey visit the sites in Zurich before a welcome dinner with the leaders of the Swiss Tunneling Industry in the evening.

Follow the travels of our intrepid SFPUC colleagues - Mikey, Dan, and David - as they visit tunneling sites all over Europe and bring home what they've learned.

See Mikey's first blog entry here.Mikey Likes It - Sept 20

Post #3: Tunneling in France

Friday, September 21, 2012

Construction Advisory for Felter Road at Marsh Road, and Calaveras Road in Santa Clara County

Large hauling trucks will remove soil from the Goldfish Pond Habitat Restoration site from the project entrance at Marsh and Felter Roads, heading west on Calaveras Road into Milpitas.

When: These 18-wheeler trucks will make approximately 20 trips a day hauling soil from the site starting Tuesday, September 25 through Tuesday, October 9, from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

What you need to know:

  • Expect delays at Marsh and Felter Roads, and down Calaveras Road into Milpitas.
  • The contractor will have flaggers on site to ensure the safe flow of the trucks entering and exiting the roadway.
  • Marsh and Felter Road users could encounter temporary delays as trucks enter and exit the site. Cyclists and users of Calaveras Road may also encounter temporary delay due to the slow moving trucks on the road.
  • Please drive carefully during this period.

The SFPUC has begun construction on several habitat restoration projects throughout the Alameda Watershed in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties. The Goldfish Pond Restoration, located near the intersection of Felter and Calaveras Roads in Milpitas, will enhance and grade the existing Goldfish Pond, rebuild the embankments, plant over 10 acres for the various wetlands and five acres of riparian habitat creation. The Bioregional Habitat Restoration is a unique approach to mitigation that combines the impacts of several different Water System Improvement Program projects into one suite of projects. This pooling of resources maximizes our ability to make significant improvements to habitat for rare and endangered species. 

 Goldfish Pond Restoration Site

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mikey Likes It

Meet Mikey.  Mikey likes fog, food trucks and Buster Posey…Go Giants! Most of all Mikey likes the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System.  Mikey drinks water from the tap instead of buying bottled water.  Mikey likes to conserve water so he always turns off the faucet when he brushes his teeth. Mikey also likes the important work being done to repair, replace and improve the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System.

Mikey learned all about the New Irvington Tunnel - a key project that is part of that effort -- from Project Manager David Tsztoo and Construction Manager Dan McMaster. David and Dan have forty-two years of combined experience building tunnels. They showed Mikey how the road headers dig the tunnel.  Mikey also saw the large diameter steel pipe that will eventually line the tunnel and carry the water he likes so much to his home.

David and Dan have been invited to take part in a prestigious information and technology exchange on designing and constructing large diameter tunnels abroad. Since they are on their own time, they invited Mikey to join them.  Together they will tour tunnel projects and tunnel equipment manufacturing facilities in France, Switzerland, Germany and Italy. They will bring back their newly acquired knowledge to benefit the New Irvington Tunnel Project and the Water System Improvement Program.

Follow David, Dan and Mikey @WSIPintheNews or search #MikeyLikesIt to see all of the amazing tunnel projects they will learn about and explore over the next couple of weeks.  Mikey and the NIT team will share pictures on our blog at


Post #2: David, Dan and Mikey: Arrival in Zurich

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tag Team Heavyweights

We had to snap this picture because it is so rare to find both the Antraquip AQM 150 (left) and the Mitsui Miike (right) road headers under blue skies.  The road headers are highly mobile tracked tunneling machines used for conventional excavation.  Don’t let the well worn appearance of these machines fool you.  At a combined 90-tons these two heavyweights were built to chew up hard rock deep underground.  But even big bad machines need a day in the sun for routine maintenance.

This dynamic duo, Mitsui Miike and his sidekick, Antraquip, are “experienced” tunnel excavators and were instrumental in cutting through hard Briones sandstone, Great Valley shales, and a host of varied ground formations.  Meantime, a third roadheader, Antraquip’s twin brother is taking its turn in the mines and recently scored a single day record of 60 feet of tunnel excavation in one heading—as much daily excavation as produced by three headings just last year.  Together the three roadheaders have been instrumental in mining over 11,000 feet of tunnel as of August 2012.

Great job big boys and enjoy the day in the sun!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Digging and Trenching

What is a concrete cut-off trench?
We just keep on digging out here at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project site.  After excavating our first million cubic yards of materials in July, we have now completed our work on the first portion of the concrete cut-off trench. 

Why is it necessary?
The new Calaveras Dam will be an earth and rock fill dam, which naturally leaks water.  The concrete cut-off trench is an underground cement barrier located directly beneath the dam’s foundation. Groundwater will seep underneath the dam and the concrete cut-off trench will help slow the water flow to maintain the stability of the dam foundation.

How big is it?
Our workers excavated the trench and then filled it with approximately 300 yards of concrete.  The 30-inch wide trench is ten feet deep. When it’s finished it will be approximately 860 feet long. 

What’s next for the control of groundwater leakage?
We will continue work on the cut-off trench and install the grout curtain… and THAT we will share more with you later…

Calaveras Dam workers excavating with a trencher

View of Concrete-cut off trench work

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


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sunol Valley Projects Open House

Please join us for our late summer Sunol Valley Projects Open House!

We would love to show you our progress on projects in and around the Sunol Valley, including water system upgrades, watershed environmental improvements, and the proposed design of the Watershed Center at the Sunol Temple to name a few.  We hope to see you there!

When: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Time: 4:30 p.m.  to 6:30 p.m.
Where: Sunol Community Park @ Main Street
What: Enjoy light refreshments and see photos and updates of ongoing SFPUC work in Sunol Valley.

For more information, please call 925.493.4535 or RSVP by emailing