PG&E pipeline work along Junipero Serra to wrap up in April

Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) work to replace Line 109, which runs along Page Mill Road, Junipero Serra Boulevard and Sand Hill Road, is expected to be completed by the end of April.

The project to replace the 22-inch diameter pipe that was installed in 1936 with a standard 24-inch pipe has been ongoing since last October.

According to a statement from PG&E, the line is being replaced instead of hydro tested and maintained because it is due for replacement in the next two years. Hydro testing is a method used to check for weak points or leaks in a line by sending highly-pressurized water through the pipes.

In October, as crews performed maintenance work on Line 109, a valve snapped and released gas. After replacing the valve, PG&E reviewed all of their material failure reports to check for similar valve failures and found none. The damaged valve was sent to a lab for failure analysis testing; PG&E said that the results of that testing will aid in developing preventative measures against valve rupture in the future.

As part of PG&E’s Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan, a response to the 2010 San Bruno pipeline rupture, automated valves will be phased in that can be shut down remotely.

Stanford has made efforts to ensure that communication is open between the University and PG&E. It has also tried to keep the community informed of progress.

“We offered space on campus, and [PG&E] came in and had an open house for residents to ask questions,” said Larry Gibbs, associate vice provost for environmental health and safety.

Early this year, work is expected to start on a gas distribution project on Junipero Serra Boulevard between Campus Drive West and Fremont Road. The work will extend the gas distribution system and eliminate high-pressure regulator sets that tap into the area’s transmission line, according to the PG&E statement.

Another project will reroute gas distribution on Comstock Circle to accommodate new buildings in the area.

Line 132 is set for internal inspection in 2014, with an internal inspection of the new Line 109 to follow in 2015.