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April 23, 2013 > Regional water delivery pipeline undergoes seismic upgrade

Regional water delivery pipeline undergoes seismic upgrade

Submitted By Bryan Dessaure

April, 2013 is the 107th anniversary of the devastating 1906 earthquake that shook the San Francisco area. To ensure the continued delivery of Hetch Hetchy water to the region, construction is underway at the I-680/S. Mission Blvd. interchange in Fremont where large diameter pipelines cross the Hayward earthquake fault. It has been over 140 years since the last major earthquake on the Hayward fault, and some geologists say that we are overdue for the next one.

The Seismic Upgrade of Bay Division Pipeline Nos. 3 & 4 (BDPL3&4) in Fremont involves a cutting-edge engineering system which will allow a new pipe to withstand up to 6.5 feet of movement on the fault.

The system will employ a segmented concrete box designed by URS Corp. and tested at Cornell University. Each segment of the concrete box will have the ability to rotate and move individually while protecting the pipe inside. The pipe inside the concrete box will have specially designed joints that will allow the pipe to compress, move and rotate without breaking. The system will allow water to be delivered across the Hayward fault following an earthquake.

I-680 commuters will notice lane re-alignments on Mission Boulevard between I-680 and Paseo Padre. These traffic diversions are needed to allow workers to safely access and replace the pipes. Residents living adjacent to work areas may also notice temporary fencing with black material attached to minimize sound and dust from the worksite. Workers are also taking precautions to ensure the safety of local wildlife by installing exclusion fencing around all work areas.

The Water System Improvement Program is designed to deliver water within 72 hours following a catastrophic event to more than 2.6 million people throughout the Bay Area. "To date, construction teams have completed more than two thirds of the projects between California's Central Valley and San Francisco," says SFPUC general manager Harlan Kelly. The project in Fremont is expected to complete construction in late 2014.

For more information about our project visit or call our 24-hour answering service at 866-973-1476.

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