Thursday, December 31, 2015

BDPL 3&4 Project Complete; Check out Sunol Valley - Greater East Bay Blog

Thank you so much for your patience as we seismically upgraded critical components of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System. Our now completed work will ensure a reliable, high-quality water supply after an earthquake, major drought, or other emergency.

BDPL 3&4 project makes the cover of
ENR magazine June 2014.

The Water System Improvement Program's Seismic Upgrade of Bay Division Pipelines Nos. 3 & 4 at Mission Blvd and the I-680 interchange is complete. Beginning in February 2016, all Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System updates in the East Bay region will be posted here.

If you love learning about and staying updated on your water system, please subscribe to the Sunol Valley - Greater East Bay blog and follow us @WSIPInTheNews.

Warm wishes for a happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Fremont’s Long History of Fossil Discovery

As we mentioned last time, the ice age fossils found during the excavation of the Bay Division Pipelines Nos. 3 & 4 project have found a new home at the Children’s Natural History Museum. The SFPUC officially donated the fossils to the museum under the care of Dr. Joyce Bleuford last month.

The fossils date back to two possible eras, the Rancholabrean North American Land Mammal Age, discussed last post, and the Irvingtonian North American Land Mammal Age, which dates back 240,000 to 1.8 million years ago. This older geologic era shows indications of a freshwater lake bed. The fossil record includes freshwater snails, fish, mussels, and crayfish as well as reptiles and amphibians.

Fossil collection from the BDPL3&4 project site displayed at the Children’s Natural History Museum.
The Irvingtonian North American Land Mammal Age takes its name from the Irvington District in Fremont, where a group of self-named ‘boy paleontologists’ and their mentor Wes Gordon excavated tens of thousands of Pleistocene fossil finds from a gravel quarry in Fremont in the 1940's and 50's. Wes started the group as a way of keeping children out of trouble during World War II, but the group’s fossil finds eventually received national attention, including a story in Life Magazine in December of 1945.

Wes Gordon and the "Boy Paleontologists" excavating fossils in Fremont.
Although the majority of the fossils from the ‘boy paleontologists’ went to the University of California Berkeley, some of the collection went to the San Lorenzo School District, where Wes worked. In 2004, the Gordon family approached the Math Science Nucleus in Fremont to take on this collection, which can now be seen at the organization's Children's Natural History Museum. The museum, located at 4074 Eggers Drive in Fremont, hosts dozens of student field trips each year, and is the only Bay Area museum to regularly display fossils from the Bay Area.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Fremont Fossils Find a Permanent Home

Did you know that camels and bison once dominated the Fremont landscape? More than 50 ice age fossil specimens were discovered during the excavation of the articulated concrete box at the Bay Division Pipelines Nos. 3 & 4 (BDPL3&4) project site near Mission Blvd in 2013. The SFPUC donated those fossils to the Children's Natural History Museum in Fremont earlier this month to help students and scientists learn about the area's history.

Ice age fossils found at BDPL3&4 project site in their
new home at the Children's Natural History Museum.

Fossils from two distinct geologic layers were discovered at the site. One is likely the Irvingtonian North American Land Mammal Age, which we’ll talk more about next week. The other is the Rancholabrean North American Land Mammal Age. They add to our understanding of what this area looked like during the last ice age, known as the Pleistocene Epoch, which spans 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago.

Remains of bison, horse, elk, camel, deer, brush rabbit, deer mice, and pocket gophers were found in the soil unit that can be dated to the Rancholabrean North American Land Mammal Age of 11,000 to 240,000 years before present. This area of Fremont could have looked like the Serengeti of today, with grasslands accented by brush and trees.

Artist rendering of what Fremont may have looked like during the
Rancholabrean North American Land Mammal Age.

The museum, located at 4074 Eggers Drive in Fremont, hosts dozens of student field trips each year, and is the only Bay Area museum to regularly display fossils from the Bay Area. We are thrilled to have found such a perfect home for this fascinating paleontological find.

See the story in the San Jose Mercury News.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Overnight On-ramp Paving Begins Tomorrow Night At I-680/Mission Blvd. Interchange in Fremont

The contractor will conduct overnight paving work on the northbound loop on-ramp (off eastbound Mission Blvd.) beginning tomorrow night. To complete this work, this on-ramp will be closed beginning on Friday, July 10 at 11 p.m. until Saturday, July 11 at 6 a.m. 
Eastbound Mission Blvd. to the Northbound I-680 on-ramp in the Warm Springs neighborhood of Fremont will be closed beginning Friday, July 10 at 11 p.m.
Curtner Road & Mission Blvd. Paving Work Update
Paving work along Curtner Road and Mission Blvd. is also underway this week. Residents and local motorists will soon have new roads as part of the project reaching substantial completion later this month.



Friday, May 15, 2015

May 15, 2015

Project Construction In Final Stages:
Join Us To Celebrate!

Join us on Thursday, May 21 from 5:00-6:30 p.m. for a community celebration to honor the completion of the Seismic Upgrade of the Bay Division Pipelines Nos. 3 & 4 at the Hayward Fault. Stop by for some refreshments and a gift at the Right-of-Way at Tissiack Way and Nugget Way.

We want to thank YOU, our neighbors, for your patience throughout construction and all of the inherent disruption that entails. We know heavy machinery and traffic delays are no fun--we appreciate your support and understanding of the important impact this project will have on the seismic reliability of the entire Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System.

Final Projects, Cleanup and Landscaping Taking Place Along the Right-of-Way

The project landscaper will install over 300 native, drought-tolerant plants along Tissiack Way, Nugget Way, Paseo Padre Blvd and by Crawford St, and disturbed areas will be hydroseeded with a native seed mix to ensure a healthy population of native grasses once other project work is complete.
The temporary street lights are being replaced with permanent ones along Mission Blvd. Restoration work and site clean up at the I-680 on-ramp and Mission Blvd. medians continue. Curtner Rd. off of Mission Blvd. is now open.
Thank you for your patience as the team works to complete this incredible engineering feat.

We hope you will join us on May 21.
For more information or questions about our progress, please call our 24-hour answering service at 866-973-1476.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Landscape Restoration Work: Tissiack Way and Crawford Street in Fremont

As the BDPL 3&4 project nears substantial completion, the contractor will be focusing on restoration activities to make the SFPUC Right of Way feel and look less like an active construction site.

Beginning this month and through June, the contractor will be restoring the SFPUC Right of Way at Tissiack Way and Crawford Street. This will include hydroseeding, paving activities, landscaping and planting California native, drought-tolerant plants. In the coming weeks, a professional landscaper will be responsible for the installation of the landscape design. In addition, the contractor will be installing a drip irrigation system to ensure the plants survive.

In late April/early May, neighborhood sidewalk improvements and the repaving of segments of local streets will be conducted as part of the restoration activities. The contractor may be installing no-parking signs to conduct this work.


Mission Blvd and Curtner Road Work

Restoration work in the clover leaf work areas and along Mission Blvd. continues. Some may notice less machinery and materials in the work area. Currently, the contractor is working to re-grade the area, while restoring the curb, gutters and sidewalks along Mission Blvd. One of the most significant improvements following this project is the installation of wheelchair sidewalk access in three different areas along Mission Blvd. Landscaping and other vegetation restoration activities will happen in May. The contractor hopes to re-open Curtner Road before the end of the month.

Construction on Curtner Road.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Overnight Road Closure Continues for I-680/Mission Boulevard Interchange from March 30 through April 3

As part of the restoration activities following the Bay Division Pipeline installation, the contractor is required to restore the freeway on-ramps the way they were found prior to the start of construction. In order to complete this work, overnight work is necessary.  

Beginning on Monday, March 30 from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m., the contractor will require overnight on-ramp closures to the cloverleaf northbound on-ramp of I-680 from eastbound Mission Boulevard. These closures are needed in order to remove temporary water pipes and fill in open trenches, now that the main Bay Division Pipeline installation is complete. This work will continue on Mission Boulevard during the day and some lane closures will be required. Please be mindful of posted traffic and detour notices. 

Approved Work Hours/Road Closure Hours:

  • Estimated Work Dates: Nightly, from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. beginning on Monday, March 30, for up to four consecutive nights (until Friday, April 3 at 5 a.m.)
  • Road and on-ramp closure hours: midnight to 5 a.m.
  • The contractor will require an hour of set-up time prior to the on-ramp/road closures. Work hours may start as early as 11 p.m. nightly.


To alleviate traffic-related concerns during major commute hours, this on-ramp work requires up to four nights of consecutive overnight work. 
   Substantial completion of this project is anticipated for May 2015.
For more information or questions about our progress, please call our 24-hour answering service at 866-973-1476, or visit our project blog at