Friday, August 22, 2014

Construction Advisory: New Irvington Tunnel Irvington Portal

We wanted to inform you of some very important construction activity affecting the neighborhood at the Irvington Portal site off Mission Boulevard. 

Irvington Portal work August 27 – September 15: 
As part of the process of preparing the tunnel to be brought into service, we will need to provide additional tunnel ventilation to our construction crews at the Irvington Portal site. The equipment will begin mobilizing in the area on August 27, 2014, and work should be complete by September 15, 2014. The ventilation equipment, which includes a fan and generator, will operate 24 hours a day. Cooling air is needed for crews who are lining the tunnel with a cement mortar to prepare it for being put into service. The sound barrier walls will keep the noise to a minimum and the contractor will install additional noise reduction measures.

Disinfection Process starting October 2014: 
Starting the first week of October, we will begin the disinfection process to bring the New Irvington Tunnel into service. In order to disinfect the tunnel, crews will need to stage generators and lights for the 24 hour a day filling/disinfection. The set up will occur during day light hours. The filling/disinfection process will take 2-4 days to complete once it begins. The expected night time activities should be limited to three nights.

What Happens Next?
The New Irvington Tunnel is anticipated to be in service delivering water sometime in November. The above ground work and restoration will continue into early 2015. These include final installations and burial of the new portal facilities, construction of a new security bunker at the existing tunnel portal (on top of the hill), and site restoration work, planting and fencing. The remaining sound walls will be removed after the entire site is restored.

Project Background
The New Irvington Tunnel Project is part of the $4.6 billion Water System Improvement Program (WSIP) to repair, replace, and upgrade our system’s aging pipelines, tunnels, and dams. The new 3.5 mile long tunnel will provide a seismically-designed connection between water supplies from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Alameda Watershed to Bay Area water distribution systems. Final construction is expected to be complete in 2015. 

Questions / Concerns?
We greatly appreciate your patience. Please call our 24-Hour Answer Line at 866-973-1476 or email or if you have any questions.
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Friday, August 15, 2014

Why we should all be excited about Cement Mortar Lining

The really big news from the team constructing the New Irvington Tunnel – a seismically designed crucial tunnel between Sunol Valley and Fremont and our 2.6 million Bay Area customers – is that installation of the cement mortar lining has begun!  Although this may seem like a good time to yawn, this is actually really exciting news! Here’s why.

It is one of the final stages of constructing a water tunnel before we bring it into service.  The New Irvington Tunnel is 95% complete, and we hope to bring the new tunnel into service this fall.  Now are you more excited?

First we excavated the tunnel from four different locations using road headers and drill and blast methods. Then we inserted steel pipe final liners into the 3.5 mile long tunnel. We welded the pipe together and injected grout in the space between the pipe and the tunnel to seal it off from groundwater intrusion along the entire 3.5 mile length. 

There is still work left to be done before water delivery can begin, but cement mortar lining application is a key step to prevent corrosion of the steel pipe and prepare it for water conveyance.  Our workers will use specialized equipment that sprays cement on the pipe’s interior and creates a very smooth surface.   

Mortar Lining being applied in the New Irvington Tunnel

Installation of the mortar lining should take about two months. After that we will complete the pipeline connections on both ends of the tunnel and install rounded dishhead caps on the end of the pipe. Then SFPUC Operation crews will disinfect the entire pipe, flush it and bring it into service by the end of October 2015.  Surface work and restoration will then take up the remaining months of the project. We anticipate being done in summer 2015.

So although the words “mortar lining installation” might not stop traffic, it is music to our ears! 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Town of Sunol Fire Suppression Project Update

Kilkare Road, here we come!

Construction has begun to improve the water distribution system and fire hydrants in the Town of Sunol. The project includes constructing two miles of new pipelines on County roads, installation of approximately 26 new fire hydrants, and replacing the existing water tanks that serve the Town of Sunol.

Here’s an update, hot off the presses as of August 8, 2014
  • What we’ve completed to date: Construction Crews have installed new pipeline on Main Street, Bond Street, Foothill Road West and East of Kilkare Road, and at Sunol Glen School. Hydrant locations have also been staked in these areas as well.
  • What’s nextStarting the week of August 11, 2014, our crews will next start pipeline installation on Kilkare Road, starting at the intersection with Foothill Road, and moving all the way up to the ‘600 block’ of Kilkare Road. Pipeline installation on Kilkare should be completed by Labor Day.
  • Hydrant Installation: Hydrants will be installed at marked locations   during this time period as the contractor’s schedule allows. 

What will come after that? Construction Look-ahead for September 2014:
  • Jack and Bore Crossing underneath Alameda County Railway at the intersection of Main Street, Kilkare Road, and Foothill Road.
  • Jack and Bore Crossing underneath Union Pacific Railroad on Main Street is scheduled to start at the end of September.

What to Expect during Construction:
- One-lane traffic through construction zones during work hours. This will  cause some delays, so please plan ahead.
- Work Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Limited Work on Saturdays for a small crew to install hydrants.
- Night work will be necessary during pipeline/tank shutdowns. We will minimize noise. 
- Access to private driveways and around streets will be available at all times.

Stay in Touch:
24-hour Answering Line:
(866) 973-1476

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Thank you so much for your patience and kind consideration during construction!