Projects Overview

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.

Safety is a number one priority for CPAU! View Utilities safety information at cityofpaloalto.org/safeutility Comments and questions are always welcome and we invite you to
contact us at anytime.


View information on
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) projects in and around Palo Alto.

City of Palo Alto Utilities Gas System Improvements

  • Gas CIP project overview (July 2012 Presentation)


    Major Gas System and Service Line Replacement Project (GMR 19B/20/21)

    Project Overview:

    Replace old gas service lines with new, higher-quality pipelines to ensure gas service reliability.

    Duration (entire project):

    Ongoing; expected completion Spring 2015

    Location (entire project):

    Map of all project installation locations

    Walking and Mobile Gas Leak Surveys

    Project Overview:

    To ensure the safety of all who live and work in Palo Alto, gas leak surveys are performed annually. These surveys are required by Department of Transportation Pipeline Safety Regulations.

    Duration:

    Completed September 2014

    Location:

    Map of areas covered during walking survey

    Crossbore – Gas/Sewer Safety Inspection Program

    Project Overview:

    Checking all privately-owned sewer lines throughout the City to ensure that there are no natural gas lines accidentally “crossbored” through them.

    Duration:

    Ongoing; expected completion late 2015

    Video:

    Mayor’s Youth Video Corp – Crossbore

    Electric System Improvements

    ·         Electric CIP project overview (July 2012 Presentation)

    ·         Planned Electric CIP Map (2014 – 2018) 

    Overhead Electric Distribution Maintenance

    Project Overview:

    Pacheco Utility Line Builders, Inc. will work with City of Palo Alto Utilities to perform maintenance on our overhead distribution system throughout the city.

    Duration:

    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.

    Notes:

    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.

  • Power Line Upgrade 4KV to 12KV

    Project Overview:

    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.

    Duration:

    Completed July 2014

    Location:

    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.

    Notes:

    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

    Project Overview:

    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

    Project Overview:

    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.

    Duration:

    Completed March 2014


    LED Streetlight Installations

    Project Overview:

    To provide brighter, more efficient and high-quality lighting to the streets throughout the City. Over 85% of the city's 6,500 street lights are completed!

    Duration:

    Ongoing; expected completion Spring 2015

    Location:

    Map

    Middlefield Electric System Rebuild

    Project Overview:

    Rebuilding the outdated electric system from the 60s to ensure electric service reliability.

    Duration:

    Hours:

    Ongoing; expected completion Spring 2015

    8am to 4pm, Monday through Friday

    Location:

    1) Middlefield Rd between Oregon Expressway and San Antonio Rd
    2) San Antonio Rd from Charleston to Middlefield

    Utility Underground District 45

    Project Overview:

    Convert overhead power lines to an underground system.

    Duration:

    Completed Summer 2014

    Location:

    Map

    Water System Improvements

    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.        


    ALL PROJECT STATUS UPDATE (March 2013) - this was a presentation to the Utilities Advisory Commission 

    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

    Emergency Water Supply Project

    Project Overview:

    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.

    Duration:

    Completed April 2013
    The El Camino Park recreational facilities restoration began in Fall 2014

    Location:

    El Camino Park

    Video:

    Mayor’s Youth Video Corp - El Camino Park Water Reservoir Project

     

    Live webcam of construction at El Camino Park

    Mayfield Reservoir Project

    Project Overview:

    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.

    Duration:

    Ongoing; expected completion Summer 2015

    Location:

    Map

    Construction of New Wells: Eleanor Pardee Park & Library/Community Gardens

    Project Overview:

    Installation of new wells to ensure water system reliability

    Duration:

    Completed 2013

    Location:

    Eleanor Pardee Park & Library/Community Gardens

     

    Map of Eleanor Pardee Park site

     

    Map of Library/Community Gardens site

    Emergency Water Supply Well Rehabilitation

    Project Overview:

    Rehabilitation of existing wells to ensure water system reliability

    Duration:

    Completed 2013

    Location:

    Rinconada & Peers Park

     

    Wells vicinity map

    Sewer System Improvements


    Crossbore – Gas/Sewer Safety Inspection Program

    Project Overview:

    Checking all privately-owned sewer lines throughout the City to ensure that there are no natural gas lines accidentally “crossbored” through them.

    Duration:

    Ongoing; expected completion late 2015

    Video:

    Mayor’s Youth Video Corp – Crossbore

    Fiber Optic System Improvements

    Fiber to Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD)

    Project Overview:

    This project provides 18 PAUSD facilities with a high speed, high reliability fiber network

    Duration:

    Completed Fall 2014

    Location:

    Map

    FAQs:

    ·         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.

    ·         Utilities project homepage

    ·         Map of all major utility projects

    ·         Link to all Electric projects (including finished, current and upcoming) 

    ·         Link to all Water projects (including finished, current and upcoming) 

    ·         Link to all Gas projects (including finished, current and upcoming)

    ·         Link to all Sewer projects (including finished, current and upcoming) 

    ·         Other questions or concerns? Contact us by email or call (650) 329-2417.

Last Updated: Mar 24, 2015