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PG&E pipeline-testing project delayed in Palo Alto

Tests pushed back to Sept. 10

The first tests of Palo Alto's PG&E gas-transmission line 132 have been delayed due to "issues in getting the pipeline segment cleaned and prepped" and have been rescheduled for Saturday (Sept. 10), Palo Alto Utilities officials announced.

Testing on section T-29 of the pipeline, which runs from Alma Street to Middlefield Road, originally was scheduled to begin Tuesday (Sept. 6).

But after some cleaning tools got stuck in the pipes, the project was pushed back, according to Palo Alto Utilities Communications Manager Debra Katz.

Pipelines will soon undergo hydrostatic water-pressure testing, which subjects pipes to water pressure 150 percent greater than the pressure allowed under normal gas use. The tests will "validate a safe operating pressure for the pipeline" and hopefully "reveal weaknesses that could lead to defects and leaks," PG&E officials said in July.

Testing of the second section of pipeline, dubbed T-30, is currently scheduled to start Sept. 20 "but may (be) delayed," according to the Palo Alto Utilities website. T-30 begins at the intersection of Alma and Page Mill Road and continues up Page Mill to Foothill Expressway

Test preparations for line 132 involved digging up the line and venting gas, which caused noise, gas odors and some lane closures -- most visibly near 2573 Alma, south of the Page Mill Road/Oregon Expressway intersection.

Dig sites for T-29 are located at 2573 Alma, 3672 Middlefield and 3860 Middlefield. T-30 dig sites can be found at 650 Page Mill, 925 Page Mill, the corner of Page Mill and Hanover Street and 500 feet north of the intersection of Page Mill and Foothill.

More information is available online at www.cityofpaloalto.org/depts/utl.

— Casey Moore

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