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Mayor Lee Announces Completion of Seismic Upgrades to Hetch Hetchy Water System Around Each Of The Three Major Bay Area Earthquake Faults
City and Regional Officials Celebrate Milestone by Touring the Top of the Recently-Upgraded Lower Crystal Springs Dam
Posted Date: 4/17/2012 5:00 PM
San Mateo County, CA. – On the eve of the 106th Anniversary of the Great 1906 Earthquake, San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee today joined local and regional officials on top of the historic 1888 Lower Crystal Springs Dam to announce the completion of critical projects on the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System around the Hayward, Calaveras, and San Andreas faults that will help improve the region’s ability receive water and fight fires after a major earthquake. The projects are part of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s (SFPUC) ongoing $4.6 billion Water System Improvement Program (WSIP) to upgrade the seismic and water reliability of the drinking water system for 2.6 million people in the Bay Area.

“More than half of San Francisco burned down as a result of the devastating fire that ensued after the 1906 earthquake. This event led to building the Hetch Hetchy Water and Power System nearly 100 years ago – a system we are investing in now to protect our Bay Area people and economy,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “Clean water is a critical resource for our entire region and protecting our Hetch Hetchy water source against a major seismic event is vital to our continued success.”

SFPUC General Manager Ed Harrington explained, “With the completed work at Lower Crystal Springs Dam, this year we have installed new service redundant, seismically-engineered crossings of the Calaveras and Hayward Faults, as well as a new dependable conduit in the influence zone of the San Andreas Fault. Together these projects now serve as our reinforced lifeline to deliver Hetch Hetchy water around the Bay.”

Since the WSIP began in 2006, the program has remained on-schedule and on-budget for completion in 2016. Last year, 53 of 81 total construction projects were completed throughout the Bay Area. Over the past 12 months, the program has more than doubled the value of projects in construction, which in December exceeded $2.5 billion. Major projects currently in construction include the first tunnel under the Bay, a new seismically-reliable dam in Calaveras, new tunnels, and more.

As of the end of March, craft workers on WSIP have recorded in excess of 3 million labor hours amounting to more than $113 million in wages. San Mateo Board of Supervisors President Adrienne Tissier was on hand to laud both the importance of the Hetch Hetchy water system and the resulting economic stimulus from WSIP construction projects in San Mateo County. The projects combined have netted $3.4 million in wages returned to the Peninsula communities and businesses.

Following remarks, SFPUC General Manager Harrington led Mayor Lee and Supervisor Tissier down to the top of the Dam, a vantage point that will no longer be accessible next year when San Mateo County rebuilds the bridge over it.

Images from this media event are available on our Twitter account @WSIPInTheNews.
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