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 mle@sfwater.org or call our 24 hour answer line at 866-973-1476.

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