Pacific Gas and Electric Company on Wednesday began replacing major valves on Alma Street between Colorado Avenue and the Oregon Expressway/Page Mill Road overpass.
The work will require excavation on driveways and sidewalks in that area as well as periodic lane closures over the coming months, said Utilities Communications Manager Debra Katz.
"Beleaguered northbound Alma commuters, who have in the past year dealt with traffic congestion and delays due to the PG&E project on Charleston Road, the City water main replacement along Alma and the Alma street repaving, will now have an additional couple of months of hassle to contend with," Katz said.
But the "good news," she added, is that PG&E workers will not be excavating in the newly paved street.
Once the work is completed, the city will have a safer gas line that can accommodate new PG&E inspection technology. Starting in 2014, inspection devices dubbed "Smart Pigs" can be run through the pipes on Alma Street to make sure everything is running smoothly. These devices can be equipped with robotic cameras and sensors to check pipe thickness and for any flaws or corrosion. The line will also go through hydrostatic testing, exerting water pressure on the pipes to reveal any potential weakness.