PG&E pipeline replacement work begins
PG&E has begun preparations to replace a gas pipeline, sections of which run along Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park and Junipero Serra Boulevard on Stanford lands. The project, which was originally scheduled to begin in late July, is now scheduled to be completed by the end of November.
Commuters and residents have begun to see PG&E and contractor trucks and other heavy equipment along Junipero Serra Boulevard. Work also is planned along Sand Hill Road between Alpine and Branner roads, near the Stanford Hills Homes.
According to the utility, PG&E residential gas service will continue without interruption while the work is being performed. At times, residents may smell gas and hear a loud, steady noise as natural gas is vented from the pipeline.
Most of the work is expected to take place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Tree trimming and removal
As part of this project, PG&E has identified trees located along Junipero Serra Boulevard that will need to be removed or pruned to safely perform the work.
The utility worked with certified arborists to plan the tree work.
"Our goal is to minimize our impact on the natural habitat while performing these safety upgrades," Francisco J. Salguero, executive manager for customer care at PG&E, wrote in a letter to residents.
Each tree has been tagged with a number. Residents who have questions on the status of tagged trees should contact Eric Jansen, accounts manager at PG&E, at (650) 598-7278, and have the tree's tag number for reference.
Two gas transmission pipelines – Line 109 and Line 132 – run through Stanford property. Line 109 along Junipero Serra Boulevard is a non-standard 22-inch diameter pipe and will be replaced with a standard size 24-inch pipe that will allow for internal pipe visual inspection. That line was originally installed in the 1930s.
Line 132, which is the same one whose failure caused the tragic explosion in San Bruno in September 2010, was run through a battery of tests in November 2011. Problems were found on two sections of pipe on that line. Those sections, called T-30 and T-31, were subsequently repaired and now meet the pressure testing requirements. According to PG&E officials, there are no plans at this point to replace Line 132.
As Line 109 is replaced, new pipe will be installed next to the existing pipe. The utility company will conduct regular inspections and tests as the new pipe is installed. Once it has been replaced, the old pipe will be taken out of service.
"This project involves excavating around the existing underground pipeline and installing new pipe using industry recognized and proven installation techniques," wrote Salguero.
Junipero Serra Boulevard traffic-calming project
In late 2013, months after the PG&E Pipeline project is completed, Santa Clara County will begin the Junipero Serra Boulevard traffic-calming project. The purpose of the project is to widen and improve an approximately half-mile segment of Junipero Serra Boulevard between Campus Drive East and Stanford Avenue to reduce speeding and improve safety.
More detailed information on the traffic-calming project can be viewed on the Santa Clara County roads and airports website.
For more information about PG&E’s pipeline safety programs, please visit www.pge.com/gas or call the Gas System Help Line at (888) 743-7431 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, or call the PG&E Customer Care Call Center at (800) 743-5000, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.