Thursday, January 28, 2016

Calaveras Dam Celebrates another Safety Milestone

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly 6.5 million people work at construction sites across the nation on any given day. The rate of injuries for construction workers is higher than those workers in other job categories in the United States. On average, we could have 150 workers on site at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project.
The construction crews at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project work multiple shifts – both day and night – working with huge machinery on a very complicated job site in challenging conditions. And yet the construction crews, who work for the joint venture of Dragados USA, Flatiron Construction and Sukut Construction, celebrated a huge safety milestone this week. Our crews have worked 75,000 safe working hours for the last quarter (from September 24, 2015 through December 31, 2015) without any recordable safety incidents. In fact, to date, they have a total of 304,146 work hours without recordable safety incidents as of December 2015. The last lost time incident was recorded in 2012. The teams celebrated with a well-deserved barbeque lunch on site to celebrate their success, and remind each other of the need to continue with their best practices to keep everyone safe.

As we continue the critical work to complete the project, we applaud our teams for continuing to make safety a priority here at Calaveras Dam.

Construction team who perform major structural work at the dam
(Pictured in no particular order: Jose Rodriguez, Dewayne Grayer, Ben Simbra, Benny Jasper, Alfredo Simao, Miles Cheek, Tomas Orantes, Eddie Fuentes, Garrett Colvin, Mike Morrison

Construction work on the new spillway chute

Friday, January 22, 2016

What’s on Tap for Sunol Valley and the Greater East Bay for 2016?

Our SFPUC teams in the East Bay are looking forward to a busy 2016. The $4.8 billion Water System Improvement Program (WSIP) might be more than 90% complete, but the majority of the work left to be done is right here.  We look forward to continuing on our old projects and starting new ones in the New Year. Here are a few highlights.

Calaveras Dam Replacement Project Rolls Onward.

The project is more than 70% complete. We will complete the Dam spillway, and will begin heavy hauling of materials for the dam starting in the middle of this year. Please subscribe to our blog at for Calaveras Road Updates.  

 Calaveras Construction crew working on the outlet pipe at Calaveras Dam. The existing dam is in the distance. Look for increased construction traffic on Calaveras Road this year.

Alameda Creek Fish Passage Project Starts.

Construction on a project at our Alameda Creek Diversion Dam is set to start in February or March of 2016. The project entails partial demolition of the existing Alameda Creek Diversion Tunnel’s intake structure, and construction of a fish ladder to facilitate fish passage around the existing Alameda Creek Diversion Dam. Users of East Bay Regional Park’s Sunol Regional Wilderness might see increased construction traffic on Geary and Camp Ohlone Road starting in Spring. Construction is scheduled to end in sometime in late 2017 / 2018. 

Ice Age Fossils on Display.

Ice Age Fossils that were found in Fremont at a WSIP Project in Fremont are expected to go on display in May. More than 50 specimens were found on the construction site of the Seismic Upgrade of Bay Division Pipelines 3 and 4 at the Hayward Fault Crossing in Fremont Project in 2013. Crews found the bones of at least 2 bison, horse, camel, elk, rabbit, gophers and more. Those fossils have a new home at the Fremont Children's Natural History Museum, and will go on display in May. 

Dr. Joyce Blueford, Director of the Fremont Children's Natural History Museum, and staff paleontologist Jim Walker look over the Ice Age fossils found at the SFPUC construction site.

Alameda Creek Watershed Center / Sunol Yard Upgrade Begins Construction.

In August of 2016, construction to upgrade the SFPUC’s corporation yard at the corner of Paloma Way and Highway 84 will begin. Construction of the new Alameda Creek Watershed Center is also part of this same project, but will begin approximately 9 months after the Sunol Corporation Yard project starts. For more information, visit  Construction is expected to be complete at the end of 2018.

The new Alameda Creek Watershed Center will be located adjacent to the Sunol Water Temple. Construction activities will start this year.

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Friday, January 15, 2016

A New Bridge for the New Year

We at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project have been talking a lot about the new spillway under construction at the dam. And why not? It is as wide as a six lane freeway, with walls that are 40 feet tall, and it is 1500 feet long. We placed over 50,000 cubic yards of concrete into the structure to date, and it has been the major focus of activity at the dam for over a year.  Spillways allow dams to safely discharge water without overtopping. This is a key safety feature of any dam, particularly Calaveras Dam as it is an earth and rock fill dam.

Last week we sent out a traffic notice for users of Calaveras Road to be aware that three large trucks would be making a very special delivery for our favorite spillway – its bridge. So special that it had to be trucked in six sections all the way from Ohio.
The spillway bridge will allow future personnel to drive across the top of the spillway safely and access the top of the new dam and outlet works at the toe of the dam. Crews used special cranes to begin installation of the bridge this week. We will be completely done with the spillway this spring.


Photos courtesy of Lead QA Inspector Glen Gorski and QC Engineer Shary Truong

Friday, January 8, 2016

1/11/16 Traffic Advisory: Calaveras Road

Large truck traffic will be heavier than usual on Monday, January 11, 2016 from the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., on Calaveras Road between I-680 and to the entrance of the construction site for the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project north of Geary Road. Commuters may experience periodic delays. Cyclists: please try to avoid this area during delivery hours if at all possible to remain safe.
· Calaveras Road remains open to the public
· Deliveries of wide structures are expected between 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
· Please drive and ride safely on the narrow portions of Calaveras Road and expect delays
· Speed limit is 25 mph in construction zones

Project Summary:
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), owner and operator of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System, is building a new dam to replace the existing Calaveras Dam. The Calaveras Reservoir, impounded by Calaveras Dam, is our system’s largest drinking water reservoir in the local Bay Area. Upon completion of the project, the reservoir provides more than half of our Bay Area storage capacity for 2.6 million customers and is crucial in times of drought. Project completion is expected in late 2018.

Contact Information:
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