San Vicente completed and on-line
San Vicente completed and on-line Jan 2011
By TunnelTalk
After a long slog for the tunnellers through tough geological conglomerate, the 11 mile x 8.5ft diameter San Vicente pipeline tunnel is now complete and in service. The $342 million tunnel project is designed and built for the San Diego County Water Authority to improve emergency water distribution for the San Diego region of Southern California.

Tunnel alignment

The new conveyance system stretches from Lakeside to Mira Mesa to connect the San Vicente Reservoir to the Water Authority's Second Aqueduct. It is a key component of the Authoritiy's $1.5 billion Emergency Storage Project and provides the ability to deliver up to 200,000 gallons of water per minute into storage when imported water supplies are abundant. The strategy will protect the San Diego region against the potential for imported water supplies being disrupted by earthquake activity or other disaster.
Construction on the San Vicente Pipeline by tunneling JV Traylor-Shea began in 2005. Three tunneling machines - a Robbins TBM and two CTS backhoe shields - advanced through different geologic regions from four access points. After working 24 hours a day, six days a week, the last tunneling machine achieved a mid-tunnel broke through to complete the final drive in September 2009.
A steel carrier pipe was then installed. The 17-ton, 50ft sections of steel pipe were moved into position from two access points. After welding 1,145 pipe sections into place the annulus around the pipeline was backfilled with concrete to resist corrosion. Testing was completed in December 2010 to ensure the finished pipe was ready for service.
The completed project was inaugurated officially on Thursday (20 Jan, 2011). About 100 local water and business leaders gathered near San Vicente Reservoir in Lakeside to commemorate the pipeline’s construction and its importance to the region.
"Completion of the San Vicente Pipeline marks another major step forward for the region’s long-term water reliability," said Michael T. Hogan, Water Authority Board Chair. "This new pipeline provides greater flexibility for how the Water Authority can store and move water around the county."
The public water agency serves the San Diego region as a wholesale supplier of water imported from the Colorado River and sources in Northern California. The Authority works through 24 member agencies to provide a safe, reliable water supply to support the region's $174 billion economy and the quality of life of 3.2 million residents in the service area.
San Vicente final breakthrough video - TunnelCast, Sept 2009
Perseverance paying off at San Vicente - TunnelTalk, Jan 2009
San Vicente stumped by tough conglomerate - TunnelTalk, Sept 2007

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