Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Calaveras Road Construction Advisory: 1/24/13 - 1/25/13 Truck Traffic

The Calaveras Dam Replacement Project will be expecting additional haul truck traffic on:
January 24 & January 25, 2013  just south of Interstate 680 to the project site approximately 4 miles past Geary Road.

·         Road remains open to the public
·         Haul trucks are expected from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
·         Please drive and bike safely on the narrow portions of Calaveras Road Speed limit is 25 mph in construction zones
For More Information:
24 hour-Answer Line 866-973-1476
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Friday, January 18, 2013

Another Shut Down for the Books

The New Irvington Tunnel Project has just completed its winter pipeline shutdown work this season.

“What’s the big deal?” you ask. Here’s why.

Our construction team must construct upgrades to this water system while it still provides water to our 2.6 million customers.  We shut down the pipelines in order to cut into them and weld pipeline connections to improve your water system.  We can only do this for short periods of time during winter months when demand for water is low. The timelines within which the contractor can complete their work are very short. The work is very complex and challenging in a very tight area. No pressure!

At the Irvington Portal area in Fremont, the contractor Southland Tutor Perini had two shutdown seasons – last year and this – to complete a complex set of pipeline connections between the existing Irvington Tunnel, the New Irvington Tunnel currently under construction, and the five Bay Division Pipelines. These pipelines can only be shut down one at a time during winter months.

The SFPUC is creating pipeline connections to allow water to be distributed from both tunnels to all five pipelines in a variety of ways.  Work on the final Bay Division Pipeline #4 connection started on November 5, 2012, and the project team recently completed the work.

For our customers this means a water transmission system that will be more flexible from an operational standpoint and better able to withstand a major earthquake.  For our construction team it means a pat on the back for a job well done.

Work being done on the final Bay Division Pipeline #4 Connection

Workers perform welding work on pipeline

For more project info, please email or call our 24 hour answer line at 866-973-1476.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Seashells and Secant Piles

A recent trip to the Sunol Valley by SFPUC photographer Katherine DuTiel produced a photo that, by striking coincidence, looks remarkably like one taken on the Bay Division Pipeline Project on the Peninsula.

Look closely to see which is which!

Shown here is the receiving shaft of the Bay Division Pipeline micro tunnel section on the Peninsula. The project was forced to tunnel under a culturally and environmentally sensitive area at the end of this 9 mile pipeline. The secant wall in the shaft consists of a series of drilled piers filled with concrete. They are arranged concentrically to provide a continuous concrete wall that supports the shaft.

The Sunol Valley area was covered by the Pacific Ocean about 20 million years ago. Life along the old coast was similar to today, with abundant clams, mussels, sea worms and other invertebrate organisms living in the sand. The sandstone formation that represents the old ocean deposits is called the Temblor sandstone, and contains fossils from this old coastline. The photograph shown above is a fossil scallop collected by geologists at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What do Dams and Space Shuttles have in common?

The Calaveras Dam Replacement Project work site is a busy place on an average day. Machines both large and small are in constant motion, moving soils and materials from one side of the site to dispose of them on the other.

However, this Wednesday around lunchtime was different.  Work paused, for a short time, to celebrate the team’s achievement of another milestone. The team has moved a total of 2 million cubic yards of rock and soils since the project began in August 2011.  As the team enjoyed its well-earned pizza lunch to celebrate, we wondered how much dirt they’d just managed to move.

2 million cubic yards of dirt weighs as much as 1,656 space shuttles. It weighs as much as 1,175 Saturn V Rockets and weighs as much as 18,225 Boeing 747’s.

Here’s another question: Why? Building a dam is similar to painting a house, in that the majority of the work goes into the preparation. The team needs to remove all the loose materials on both sides of the valley and the valley floor so the new dam will be built upon a solid base.  The Calaveras Dam Replacement Project will have to move more than 9 million cubic yards of soils and rock during construction. About 3.5 million cubic yards of the materials will be used in the construction of the new dam, while the remainder will be disposed of onsite.

Two down, only seven million more cubic yards to go! And the crew is geared up, full of pizza, and ready to get going. 

Our Calaveras Dam work crews take a few moments to celebrate the important milestone of excavating
over 2 Million Cubic Yards of materials

As seen almost daily, a scraper moves soil and rock materials excavated at the project site

For more project info, please email or call our 24 hour answer line at 866-973-1476

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Welcome 2013

As we turn the page on 2012, we are unfortunately also saying good-bye to a key member of our Sunol Regional Communications Team. Francis Zamora, who has worked with the New Irvington Tunnel Project for over three years, is leaving the New Irvington Tunnel Team to take another position.

Francis (at left below) has been instrumental in the creation and implementation of the Groundwater Management Program process during construction. He also has helped create our Sunol Valley Blog, posting interesting stories, photos, and videos. Only Francis could incorporate references to Star Wars in a blog about tunneling! He also has created memorable public events, presentations, and informational materials in support of the New Irvington Tunnel Project.

Maria Le, who has been working with the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project Team and frequently coordinated with Francis, will be taking over his duties on the New Irvington Tunnel Project in addition to her great work with the Calaveras Team.

Some things will not be changing, however.
As of January 7, 2013, here is the current point of contact list for the Sunol Region:


Maria Le                New Irvington Tunnel              
                            Calaveras Dam Replacement Project

(925) 493-4535
(925) 232-4059

Emily Powell          Sunol Valley Water Treatment Plant

                            Bioregional Habitat Reserve Program

                            San Antonio Backup Pipeline

                            Town of Sunol Projects, including: Fire System 
                            Upgrade and the Watershed  Center
(415) 934-3905

Betsy L. Rhodes    Oversight on all  of the projects  above
(415) 554-3240

As always, if you should require assistance at any time, you are welcome to contact our 24-hour answer line, and someone will be able to help you. 866-973-1476.

If you are a Groundwater Management Plan Property owner, you are encouraged to contact Maria with any of your groundwater needs, as you would have contacted Francis. Bill Scott is still available to assist you, as are the remainder of the New Irvington Tunnel Team.

While we are sad to see Francis go, we are excited for him as he embarks on his future endeavors. We wish him the best of luck!

We wish you and yours a very Happy New Year, and we look forward to working with you in 2013.