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? These are placed in accordance with safety regulations any time an area of the road or sidewalk is excavated for any number of reasons. City work on utilities distribution systems are part of the City of Palo Alto Utilities' (CPAU) continual process of upgrading infrastructure and performing routine maintenance to ensure safety and reliability for all customers. Some plates on the streets are owned, placed and maintained by third-party developers.
As part of the ongoing work to expand services and upgrade equipment, the main 4 kilovolt (kV) power lines throughout South Palo Alto are being converted to 12 kV lines. As a result of this upgrade, more customers can be served and all customers will have a more reliable power supply.
Completed July 2014
Different areas, both residential and commercial, in the southwest quadrant of the City. Locations were processed in rotation and any one customer experienced only one power shutdown on a single date.
To allow us to complete the transfers to the new lines, customers needed to have power shutoff for a single day, from roughly 9:30am to 4:00pm. All impacted customers received direct notices of the shutoff, at least 3 days or more before the event.
Wooden Pole Inspections
Davey Tree Surgery Company worked with City of Palo Alto Utilities to inspect, treat or reinforce wooden electric poles throughout the City.
Duration (entire project):
Completed June 2014
Underground Electric Vault
As part of the ongoing work to expand services to customers and upgrade equipment, a new underground electric vault was installed on the west side (Ramona) of City Hall.
CAL AVE STREETSCAPE project, which is underway and will continue through much of 2014,includes a major water main replacement. All California Avenue stores, restaurants and offices are open during this construction, parking is available and there is a "quiet time" for lunch daily between 11:30am and 1:00pm. Visit here for a full description of the project, status and to be added to a direct notification list for project updates.
UNIVERSITY AVE BEAUTIFICATION: Although not a Utilities project, you may be interested in the Public Works Department’s University Ave Beautification project which includes irrigation efficiency improvements. For more details, click here
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.
Completed April 2013
The El Camino Park recreational facilities restoration began in Fall 2014
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.
·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.