The same year that the San Andreas Pipeline #2 Pipeline was originally constructed (1928), Walt Disney released his classic Steamboat Willie. Given the age of this pipeline, the SFPUC didn’t struggle to identify sections of this pipeline that required rehabilitation. The San Andreas Pipeline #2 Replacement Project in San Bruno consists of replacing about 6,500 ft of 54-inch diameter lockbar steel pipeline at four locations in the City of San Bruno. This project and others like it are just some of the stories we’re highlighting during United for Infrastructure Week.
The project team has encountered a fair number of challenges during construction. The vulnerable sections of pipeline pass through areas that are difficult to access. One section is located in an area within the Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant that is extremely tight and left the contractor with very little room to maneuver. Another section slated for replacement passes through hilly, wooden terrain in a county park. Other sections of pipe to be replaced pass literally through apartment complexes, under major streets and highways, and ending in a National Cemetery. This is not to mention the pandemic that hit when the project was in full construction.
The team credits thorough planning, careful design, proactive public outreach, teamwork, quick thinking, and a little luck with their success in bringing the project this far. During the pandemic, the contractor was required to examine all of their methods in the context of health, safety and distancing. The team crossed under highways and roadways by slip-lining 42-inch-diameter pipeline segments into the 54-inch pipelines to avoid cutting open busy roadways. A crew of welders and painters even climbed inside the smaller pipelines to make everything fit and ensure the interior was properly coated. They cleared trees and carefully shored up the vulnerable hillside, worked well in tight spaces under difficult conditions. With all of the major pipeline segments already in the ground, the team continues to work on above ground restoration and all the work to bring the pipelines into service.The San Andreas Pipeline #2 transports treated water from the Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant to more than one million customers on the northern Peninsula. The $32 million contract began construction in April 2019 and will likely be completed this winter, ahead of schedule. The SFPUC is immensely proud of the work that has been accomplished. Together, we can #RebuildBetter.