Current City of Palo Alto Utilities Projects
Following the gas, electric, water, sewer and fiber project information below, you will find the answers to the Top Three most frequently asked questions, as well as a list of other links you may find helpful. (Note: Storm Drain projects are under the purview of the Public Works Department.)
Steel plates on the streets? The steel plates are placed at the locations of excavation in accordance with safety regulations and in order to allow access to the underground infrastructure until the work is completely finished and excavation is backfilled. The plates on the streets are placed/owned and maintained by the Utilities, Contractors working for the Utilities, and third-party developers.
Pacheco Utility Line Builders, Inc. will work with City of Palo Alto Utilities to perform ongoing maintenance on the overhead electric distribution system throughout the city.
Start date March 9, 2015 through March 9, 2016. This contract could possibly be extended to a three year contract that would continue up until March 2018.
To allow us to complete some of this work, we might need to shut off power at times. If and when we do need to shut off power, all impacted customers will receive direct notices of the power shut-down(s) at least three or more days before the event.
Rebuild the underground electric system by replacing old equipment with new and reconfiguring it to current design standards. This is to ensure electric service reliability.
Initial work on the project started October 2015. Because of the area and customers impacted by this work, staff has been working with customers on the scope of work and scheduling to minimize the impact. Work is performed after hours to minimize impact to businesses. Customers are notified in advance of any power shut offs necessary to perform the work. This has delayed completion, now expected to be finished by summer of 2017.
Area bounded by Lytton Ave, Bryant Street, Forest Avenue, and Alma road, as well as smaller areas downtown near Cowper Street and University Avenue.
Rebuild and Reconfigure Electric System in Stanford Hospital/Mall Area
Enable the City to provide reliable service to new facilities at the Stanford and Lucille Packard hospitals. Utilities is rebuilding and reconfiguring the underground electric system to increase reliability and capability.
Various projects are in construction and design with an anticipated completion of December 2017. New load projections from Stanford and added buildings are necessitating review of designs and possible modifications.
Quarry Road, Welch Road
Wherever there is new construction, Utilities is typically there at some point in the construction process to provide temporary and permanent power as needed.
Utilities involvement varies depending on the project and customer's construction schedule.
Build a long-term emergency water supply system that will provide enough water to meet basic needs for the entire City in the event of an earthquake or other emergency that cuts off our normal water supply from the Hetch-Hetchy regional system.
Demolition of existing Mayfield Pump station, installation of new pump station and emergency generator. Once completed, the new pump station will be used to supply water to the City under normal and emergency conditions.
Checking all privately-owned sewer lines throughout the City to ensure that there are no natural gas lines accidentally “crossbored” through them. A program update was presented to UAC on June 1, 2016.
·Why is PG&E doing construction in Palo Alto?The City of Palo Alto Utilities supplies natural gas to all residents and businesses in Palo Alto.However, the natural gas used in Palo Alto is transported to the City's distribution system through large transmission lines owned by PG&E. Click here for a list of all current PG&E projects happening in Palo Alto.
·What do the colored markings in the street mean? These different colored lines and letters have been placed to indicate the location of various underground utilities, so construction crews will not hit them while excavating. They are placed by Underground Services Alert (USA), the folks you should call (811) ANYTIME you plan to dig on your property. Click here to see a chart explaining what all the colors mean.
·Why are Utilities crews digging up a street that was just repaved? This only happens when there is an urgent problem that must be addressed immediately. Otherwise, a 5 year moratorium on planned projects is observed after a street has been repaved.