Friday, February 20, 2015

Last of the Pipe Installed at New Irvington Tunnel

The crews have reached a major milestone and installed the last of the pipe for the New Irvington Tunnel.  A 35 ft section of steel pipe was prepped and mortar lined at the surface before being lowered into the Vargas Shaft. This officially completes the entire 3.5 mile water transmission tunnel.  Final steps are being made the next week to disinfect the tunnel and bring it into service to provide a seismically designed connection to provide water to our 2.6 million Bay Area customers. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Construction Advisory: New Irvington Tunnel Neighbors

We are preparing to bring the New Irvington Tunnel into service!
In order to do so, our crews need to fill and disinfect the tunnel and connecting pipelines in preparation for it to carry drinking water. Disinfection is a 24/7 process, and therefore, you will notice nighttime work at the Irvington Portal. Here’s more information:

Completion of Tunnel Cleaning and Installation of Dish-head
The Contractor will need to work inside the tunnel during night hours on Friday, Feb 13th. They will also install the dish-heads starting this weekend inside the new portal structure located off Mission Blvd. in the City of Fremont.

Disinfection/ Flushing activities start week of February 16, 2015 

Beginning on Tuesday, Feb 17th we will pump highly chlorinated water through the tunnel to disinfect it. Crews will be running pumps 24 hours a day and will be flushing the pipe for an estimated 5 to 7 days. Adjacent neighbors at Irvington Portal may hear the operations of the equipment. Passersby will notice lights and increased activity in the area. We will be installing sound blankets on the pipes to help minimize the water injection noise located near Mission Blvd entrance.

Future Work: Restoration work at Irvington Portal
After the tunnel is in service, the next step will be to construct a concrete structure around the existing tunnel portal up by the valve houses. Once the major construction work is completed, the Contractor will remove the remaining sound barrier walls. We will give the neighborhood advance notice before taking down the sound walls. Final grading, paving and installation of the wrought iron fence will be installed at the Mission Boulevard entrance by this summer.

Project Background

The New Irvington Tunnel Project is part of the $4.8 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 our Bay Area water distribution systems.  We anticipate being completely done in fall 2015. 

Questions / Concerns?
We greatly appreciate your patience. Contact us with any questions by calling our 24 hour answer line at 866-973-1476 or emailing

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Final Stretch: Mortar Lining completed for the New Irvington Tunnel

This week the construction crews completed the final stages of mortar lining in the tunnel. Mortar lining is one of the final stages of constructing a water tunnel before we bring it into service.  

Our workers used specialized equipment that sprays cement on the pipe’s interior to prevent corrosion of the steel pipe and prepare it for water conveyance. This completes a major milestone for the tunnel. The tunnel is anticipated to be in service by the end of this month and will soon deliver water to our 2.6 million customers. We are definitely getting excited for the final stretch!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Construction Update for the Town of Sunol Fire Suppression Project

We are pleased to announce that the fire hydrants installed within the Town of Sunol are live! The new water main that serves these hydrants is full of water, and should a fire occur within the Town, fire fighters can now access water through these hydrants. The contractor will unwrap the hydrants momentarily. We are not finished with the entire project, yet. There are a few more items left to be done.

Here's what to expect over the next couple of weeks:

Bollard Installation around Fire Hydrants
In order to protect some of the newly installed hydrants from accidental damage from vehicles, we will install bollards around the more exposed hydrants. These bollards will conform with Alameda County Fire Specifications. Installation is scheduled to begin this week and should take a week or so to complete.

Sidewalk Restoration at SFPUC Corporation Yard
We will be restoring the sidewalk directly adjacent to the SFPUC-owned corporation yard at the corner of Main and Bond Streets next two weeks as well.

Pavement Restoration
Once all the construction work within town is complete, we will work with Alameda County inspectors to repair street structural damage caused by construction and slurry seal Main Street. Spot repair of pavement damage will happen at the end of February. If you notice a damaged section of payment that occurred because of construction of the project, please notify us at We would appreciate hearing back by Monday, February 23rd.

Slurry Seal of Main Street will happen in warmer weather - currently planned for this spring.

Pipeline Connection Work at the intersection of Kilkare / Main and Foothill Roads It is possible that crews will modify the pipeline connections at the intersection of Kilkare / Main, and Foothill Roads to further optimize the fire hydrant system. Additional details will be forthcoming if this comes to fruition.

Storage Tanks
Installation of the first of the two new replacement tanks on Tank Hill continues. Once the first new water storage tank on Tank Hill is placed in service (Spring 2015), the remaining pair of old, smaller water tanks will be demolished, and construction will start on the second replacement tank. Construction on Tank Hill will continue through summer of 2015.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments, or concerns.
24-hour Answering Line: (866) 973-1476 or or

Thank you for your patience!