Pipeline work may hinder traffic

Getting more water to flow to Daly City may clog up traffic. A major project to build a new water pipeline that will traverse much of Daly City underneath Sullivan Avenue, Lake Merced Golf Club and John Daly Boulevard may significantly affect traffic in the city, according to city officials.

The project, spearheaded by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission as part of a larger seismic upgrade of the aging Hetch Hetchy water system, would add a second pipe to a 75-year-old pipeline that provides most of Daly City’s water.

The SFPUC is holding a public meeting about the Daly City project Feb. 21. The 16-month construction project is scheduled to begin early next year, according to the SFPUC.

Construction may affect access to many of the city facilities located along Sullivan Avenue such as City Hall, the police department, the Department of Motor Vehicles and Seton Medical Center, but city officials hope residents will use alternate routes to access the facilities.

“Sullivan Avenue is primarily the area that we’re most concerned about,” City ManagerPat Martel said. “We have the DMV, a number of commercial businesses and some residences. Even though people are going to be inconvenienced for a period of time, we’re going to be fine because there are alternate routes to get to all the facilities around us. We’ll sign it very well so people know where detours are.”

According to a recent SFPUC report, construction crews will dig trenches that will be 5 feet wide and 9 feet deep, and will be covered at night. Construction on the trenches will proceed at a rate of about 50 to 100 feet per day and will generate up to 230 cubic yards of debris per day, requiring as many as 13 truck trips to transport the debris.

In high-traffic areas, such as on John Daly Boulevard and Sheffield Drive near Boulevard Café and close to the Interstate Highway 280 entrance, the SFPUC will use trenchless construction.

According to Interim Public Works Director Patrick Sweetland, the crews will dig two holes on either side of John Daly Boulevard and insert the pipe without disturbing traffic.

However, for Billy Panos, one of the owners of Boulevard Café, these precautions may not be enough.

“I’m not sure how that’s going to affect us, but we’re not happy about it,” he said. “Are my customers going to make it to the parking lot or am I going to be losing money? Everybody drives here, so that would greatly affect us if they are unable to park.”

A public meeting on the project will be held Feb. 21 at Larcombe Clubhouse at Westlake Park, 99 Lake Merced Blvd.

svasilyuk@examiner.com

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