The City of Palo Alto Utilities supplies electricity and natural gas to all residents and businesses in Palo Alto. However, we have to transport these commodities from where they originate to our town via pipelines and electric lines owned by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). This web page provides updates on various PG&E projects related to those transport pipelines and electric lines in Palo Alto.
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BREAKING NEWS--as of November 18, 2013
E. Bayshore project almost completed Restoration of curbs, gutters and sidewalks underway. Bike path restoration to begin this month. Traffic controls will continue until restoration is complete, likely early December.
Electric Transmission Tower project finished PG&E started in early October on a project to raise the height of two electric transmission towers along San Francisquito Creek, near the Golf Course. It was finished by early November.
Survey of All 3 Gas Pipelines (#101, 109 & 132) finished! PG&E has been, since August, conducting "above-ground" surveys along the paths of all three pipelines to be sure there are no structures, trees or other obstructions on top of the pipelines---and if there are, to get them removed. As of today, the job is done!
E. Bayshore PIG Launching Project (Line #101)
PG&E is finishing up major construction work along E. Bayshore Rd. to make their gas transmission line there accessible to "PIGs," which are internal inspection devices. This will include a special facility being built near the bike bridge access on E. Bayshore to house a "PIG" receiving station. Restpratopm work continues through early November and COMMUTERS WHO HAVE ALTERNATIVES to using E. Bayshore are encouraged to do so.
SPECIAL NOTE TO GUNN HS students and parents: Regardless of the presence of PG&E or other construction vehicles, U-TURNS are always ILLEGAL in this area. The Miranda bus stop area is NOT a good place for drop off.
CHARLESTON ROAD PROJECT FINISHED--October 2012! THANK YOU PALO ALTO!
Gas Transmission Line #101 (runs near East Bayshore Drive, next to Highway 101)
PIG Launching Facility (July-October 2013)---this facility has been constructed off E. Bayshore Road near the bicycle bridge crossing, and will allow for future inspections of gas transmission pipeline #101 by an internal inspection device (called a "PIG"). Some pipeline section replacements were also be required. Car, bicycle and pedestrian lane closures continue through restoration.
COMMUTERS, BICYCLISTS AND PEDESTRIANS should avoid the area whenever possible and if you must travel there, follow directional signs and proceed with caution.
Pipeline Casing Inspection--Finished October 2012 This excavation was conducted to allow inspection of pipeline casing and took place in a commercial parking lot area off Geng Road (near Embarcadero).. Corrosion Inspection---Finished September 2012 This excavation at the intersection of Embarcadero and E. Bayshore Road was conducted to allow a pipeline corrosion inspection.
Gas Transmission Line #132 (runs in zig-zag fashion from Middlefield to Alma to Page Mill Road and beyond).
Hydrotest Finished: Fall 2011.
Smart PIG Valve Project--June and July 2013: Finished! This project involved excavation work near the 2500 block of Alma Ave, where the pipeline access valves are located. Repaving of Alma will be conducted in mid-August, 2013.
Impacts on Palo Altans
Everyone in Palo Alto extends special thanks to those people who are bearing the brunt of dealing with the impacts of these construction projects. Despite the inconveniences, we all can appreciate the value of verifying the safety of these pipelines!
PG&E Transmission Pipeline Overview (information supplied by PG&E)
PG&E has 3 main transmission pipelines that traverse the city of Palo Alto. They are referenced as #101, #109 and #132. The #132 pipeline is the one involved in the San Bruno incident and is the only one of the three pipelines required to be tested in PG&E's current hydrostatic testing project.
PG&E’s line #132 Running roughly 55 miles long and stretching from Milpitas to South San Francisco, Pipeline #132 is only one of many transmission pipelines involved in PG&E’s current statewide testing. (See testing history at the bottom of this page). Per agreement with the CPUC, PG&E assignment was to hydrostatically test a total of approximately 160 miles of transmission pipeline statewide. The criteria for selecting the portions to be tested were the age of the pipelines and the absence of good records regarding previous testing.
PG&E’s line #109 The Palo Alto portion of this pipeline, which also runs along Middlefield from Mountain View but then turns up East Charleston/Arastradero Road, continuing north along the Foothill Expressway, has had about 2/3 of its length replaced in recent years.
Originally installed portions of this pipeline---running along Charleston between Alma and Middlefield and then paralleling the Foothill Expressway along Miranda Avenue---are being replaced this summer.
PG&E’s line #101 This pipeline runs roughly parallel to Highway 101 and all of the Palo Alto portions of this pipeline have been replaced since the requirement for hydrostatic testing was in place and there are validated records of passing this test. In order to perform ongoing corrosion tests, PG&E excavated around a portion of this pipeline (near Embarcadero Road and East Bayshore) during summer 2012.
PG&E is installing a permanent "in the pipeline inspection device" (called a PIG) launching station adjacent to East Bayshore Road that will allow regular, ongoing inspections of pipeline #101 from hereon in. Construction of this facility is taking place Summer 2013.
CONTACT INFO FOR MORE DETAILS
General concerns or queries can be directed to the City of Palo Alto Utilities Communications Manager by calling (650) 329-2474 or emailing email@example.com
Public and media calls about specific timing and details should be directed to PG&E at the numbers below.
PG&E Customer Care gas specialist representatives at 1-888-743-7431, between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
Or call 1-800-743-5000 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Or visit the PG&E website
General Natural Gas System Info www.pge.com/gassystem/
Map of PG&E gas transmission pipelines: www.pge.com/pipelinelocations/
Details on hydrostatic pressure testing www.pge.com/myhome/edusafety/systemworks/gas/pipelinesafety/hydrostatictesting/index.shtml
PG&E Language Assistance:
Spanish: Para ayuda en español por favor llame al 1-800-660-6789. Chinese: 1-800-893-9555. Tagalog: 1-888-743-7431. Vietnamese: 1-800-298-8438.
Gas Pipeline #132 HYDROSTATIC TESTING HISTORY in Palo Alto (2011) (based on data provided to Utilities staff by PG&E)
September 10: Testing of the Middlefield to Alma section of the pipeline was successfully completed and this pipeline section was restored to full service.
October 30: Hydrotest of the first of two portions of the T-30 (Page Mill Road) pipeline segment was successfully completed.
November 3-14: Small (1 millimeter) leak found in the second portion of the T-30 pipeline segment at Page Mill Road, south of Hanover. The entire segment was hydrotested once again and passed without incident.
November 18-20: T-30 pipeline was restored to normal operation.
December through February 2012: PG&E conducted general clean up and restoration of all the areas of activity (Alma Street, Page Mill Road, Park Avenue). PG&E conducted a verification dig in early February at Alma and Oregon to inspect the pipeline casing, which is not part of the pipeline itself.