The is installing nearly two thirds of a mile of new pipe on Fifth Avenue in San Rafael this summer as part of the district’s Fire Flow Master Plan.
Approximately 3,680 feet of 18-inch welded steel pipe will replace the existing 14-inch diameter cast-iron pipe, which was installed in 1927. The new pipe will also increase the overall reliability of the water distribution system, according to MMWD spokesperson Libby Pischel.
This project is a priority for MMWD because the existing pipe does not meet today’s fire-fighting standards and is at risk of failure in a large earthquake. In addition, San Rafael city officials plan to overlay the asphalt on Fifth Avenue this fall, so MMWD wants to complete construction prior to the overlay.
The Fifth Avenue pipeline project stretches from A Street to H Street. Construction will begin in mid-June and is scheduled to be completed by the end of September.
“Both the contractor and MMWD will make every effort to minimize traffic disruptions during construction,” Pischel said in a release.
Expect delays, however, on weekdays between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. One-way traffic will be available during those hours with traffic control in place. San Rafael drivers should consider alternate routes such as Second Street, Third Street, Fourth Street or Mission Avenue. Two-way access will be available on evenings and weekends on Fifth Avenue during the construction period.
The MMWD Board of Directors awarded the contract to Piazza Construction of Penngrove, Calif., which submitted the lowest responsible bid of $684,365.
Funding for the district’s Fire Flow Master Plan is provided by a $75 annual parcel fee. Since 1997 the fee has supported the investment of more than $70 million in fire flow and seismic-related improvements throughout the district’s service area and the replacement of more than 300,000 feet, or 52 miles, of pipe.
This project is one of the last to be funded by the original Fire Flow Master Plan, which ends this year. In May MMWD’s Board of Directors approved the extension of the $75 annual parcel fee for an additional 19 years, allowing the district to fund additional water system improvements for purposes of fire fighting and earthquake survival.
MMWD customers with questions about the Fifth Avenue pipeline project can call MMWD at (415) 945-1574.