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Archived News Release from 2010

For Immediate Release

Hetch Hetchy Pipeline Construction Across Jefferson Avenue Scheduled to Begin July 19 - Lane Closures and Traffic Delays Expected

Redwood City, CA - July 14, 2010 - On Monday, July 19, work is scheduled to begin on the installation of a new five-foot diameter water pipeline underneath Jefferson Avenue, between Hawes Street and Nevada Street, at Avenue del Ora. Installing these very large pipe segments is major construction and will result in temporary lane closures and potentially significant traffic delays in both directions of Jefferson. Work at this location is expected to continue for up to four weeks. This work is part of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s (SFPUC) seismic upgrade of the Hetch Hetchy pipeline that is ongoing in several Bay Area communities, including Redwood City.

Work will take place weekdays between 9 am and 4 pm. During those times, the traffic flow on Jefferson will be reduced to one lane in each direction, and Avenue del Ora may be entirely closed where it intersects with Jefferson. Residents of Avenue del Ora can access their homes via Quartz Street/St. Francis Street, and South Place. In order to expedite the construction and return Jefferson to normal traffic flow as soon as possible, Redwood City will approve work on up to three Saturdays (July 10, 17, and 24) from 9 am to 5 pm. Allowing Saturday work will also help ensure the construction is largely complete in this area before students return to the nearby John Gill Elementary School in late August.

After the two-to-three weeks of pipe installation underneath Jefferson Avenue, work will move north on Avenue del Ora for another two-to-three weeks. Unfortunately, due to the road width, the amount of equipment, and the trenching that must take place, at times there will be very limited or no vehicle access on a portion of Avenue del Ora. During those times this will require some residents on that street to park further up the street or around the corner and then walk to their home. This very limited access may last for two or three days at a time, for certain homes. The contractor will take every reasonable measure to minimize both the number of homes affected, and the length of time they are affected. For the work on Avenue del Ora, the pipe segments will be temporarily stored on the east side (the school side) of the street, requiring the sidewalk on that side to be closed.

Staff of the SFPUC have directly contacted and notified all of the residents whose homes will be impacted during this phase of construction.

There will be continuing impacts during this construction in various locations in Redwood City including lane closures, street closures, dust and dirt, noise, and heavy equipment in the vicinity of homes that are near the SFPUC right-of-way.

The SFPUC has a 24-hour hotline for questions and concerns about the construction, 1-800-571-6610, and also has a project web page at where up-to-date construction information is posted. Redwood City also has a project information page located at which includes maps and construction updates.

Both the SFPUC and the City of Redwood City apologize for the inconvenience that this construction causes for motorists and residents, and greatly appreciates their continuing patience as this important and critical work takes place. The end result will be a more reliable water system for our entire community.

This construction is part of the SFPUC Water System Improvement Program, a $4.6 billion bond-funded program to seismically upgrade and repair the regional water system’s aging pipelines, tunnels, and dams. The Peninsula segment is a 9-mile, 5-foot diameter welded steel pipeline seismically designed to withstand an earthquake, and will allow the SFPUC to take existing, older pipelines out of service for maintenance and repair. About 2.5 miles of the pipeline is within Redwood City.

Visit Redwood City’s website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and local business. Subscribe to Redwood City’s electronic newsletter or other City documents at


Paul Willis, Senior Civil Engineer
Redwood City

Christina Kerby
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
SFPUC Construction Hotline: 1-800-571-6610


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