Monday, February 25, 2013

Preparation Work Starting this Week for the Geary Road Bridge Replacement Project

The existing Geary Road Bridge that will be replaced. 

Working closely with the East Bay Regional Park District, the SFPUC will replace the existing unreliable wooden Geary Road Bridge with a new concrete and steel bridge. This will eliminate the need for vehicles driving through Alameda Creek at the low-water crossing. Construction work will be underway this spring to replace the existing bridge with a new one located in the Sunol Regional Wilderness area in the Alameda Watershed. Once complete in December 2013, the new bridge will be able to accommodate all new truck and pedestrian traffic in order to protect the health of Alameda Creek at this location.

Crews will begin preparing the site this week, which will include installing wildlife exclusion fencing and removing some trees. Some trees that will be removed at this location will be transported and utilized at another SFPUC habitat improvement project site within the Alameda Watershed.  Other trees will be used to provide erosion control and stabilization within this project area. 

What To Expect:

  • A small crew of up to 10 workers and several pieces of equipment will be working at this location for up to three weeks.
  • Regular work hours are Monday through Friday: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be no work conducted on weekends.
  • Construction vehicles will off-haul the trees in trucks using the main park road, so park users may experience additional truck traffic.
  • The bridge will remain open during this time, but park users should exercise caution at the work location and may experience some delays during this time.
  • Park users should stay outside of fencing and other barriers at this work location.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Air Monitoring Program Continues at Calaveras Dam

If you are traveling on Calaveras Road, you may notice what appears like chain link cages along the side of the road. These are our air quality monitoring stations.  These stations have been placed throughout the valley and within the construction boundaries of the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project.  Our teams collect air sampling data throughout the week at the various stations to ensure we are protecting the public and our workers at all times. 

Why are we doing this?

Portions of the approximately 7 million cubic yards of material which is being moved to construct the replacement Calaveras Dam contain rock formations that contain varying levels of Naturally Occurring Asbestos.

Geotechnical explorations in the area of the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project construction revealed that the Sunol Valley contains rock types that are known to contain naturally occurring asbestos and metals.  Serpentinite rock (“California Jade”) is the state rock of California and occurs naturally in at least 44 of California's 58 counties.

The SFPUC has implemented an extensive air monitoring program that is designed to keep dust generation to a minimum while assuring that asbestos-containing dust does not leave the site at levels sufficient to pose unacceptable risks to individuals who may work, recreate, or reside in the vicinity of the site.

For more information about our air quality monitoring and to see the latest air monitoring results, visit our NOA Website by clicking here.  Our results are updated weekly.

Our Staff collecting samples from an air monitoring station

Meet David from our Calaveras Dam Air Monitoring Team
working at one of our air monitoring stations

Friday, February 15, 2013

Update: New Irvington Tunnel Construction Activity at Irvington Portal

Excavation of the New Irvington Tunnel is more than two-thirds complete! The contractor has finished making the last of the necessary connections between the large water pipelines at the Irvington Portal. The contractor will begin ramping down construction activities at a portion of the site. The first step will be the partial demobilization and site restoration on the southern portion of the property.
Starting as early as February 20, 2013, the contractor will begin the process of removing some of the sound barriers at the project site. (See Map Below)
What to Expect
The sound barriers will be removed at the locations depicted in the map. The work involves removal of the panels and digging around the concrete foundation. Workers then remove the foundation and cut or pull the steel beams out. The excavated area would then be backfilled. Noise associated with sound barrier removal will include the operation of heavy equipment, back up alarms and concrete breakup.
Removal Hours
Sound barrier removal can take place Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. We will continue to monitor noise and vibration in this area to ensure full compliance with strict noise and vibration standards set forth in the project’s Environmental Impact Report.
What’s Next?
We are not done at Irvington Portal, yet! Installation and burial of permanent portal facilities and security improvements will continue through 2013 into 2014. Site restoration for the remainder of the project site will commence in 2014.

24-Hour Answer Line at 866-973-1476 or email or
Areas in yellow highlight sound barriers to be removed,
areas in blue will still remain
 Photo of Sound Barriers

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Planting Underway at Restoration Sites in Sunol

The majority of construction work at the Goldfish Pond and San Antonio Creek restoration sites has been completed. Crews at both of these Bioregional Habit Restoration (BHR) project sites in the Alameda Creek Watershed are now focused on the planting efforts.

At the Goldfish Pond Restoration project site, crews are currently planting more than 25 different types of plants, represented by the colored flags seen in these photos.These plants will help create various wetlands at the site. This planting work is expected to be complete in Feburary. We will continue to monitor the success of restoration efforts at this site through the year 2023! 

At the San Antonio Creek Restoration site, crews are planting a variety of grasses, shrubs and trees that total 300,000 plants to create both oak savannah and sycamore riparian habitats. All of the plants are expected to be in the ground in December 2013. We will monitor the success of these restoration efforts until 2023 at this site as well.

These projects are part of the SFPUC’s unique approach to mitigation and our environmental commitment that combines the impacts of several different WSIP projects into one suite of projects to maximize our ability to make significant habitat improvements for rare and endangered species.