Pacific Gas & Electric employees will start a pipeline valve installation project on Sand Hill Road Wednesday night, an endeavor expected to make a significant amount of noise.
Menlo Park’s Public Works Director said that the work will start at 8 p.m. and end at 6 a.m. to lower the likelihood of snarling .
Crews will be installing a pipeline with an automated valve under the westbound side of Sand Hill Road between Sand Hill Circle and Branner Drive. PG&E will be able to control the valve remotely if necessary and close the flow of gas in an emergency, according to PG&E. One of the features touted by the company is one designed to prevent a tragedy such as the . The new valve should automatically close if it detects a dramatic change in pipeline pressure. Project managers say the installation of this valve will create noise and probably release unpleasant odors.
“As PG&E approaches the residential areas near Branner Drive, evening noise levels will be evaluated to determine if night work can continue through that area of the project,” Taylor said. “If night work is determined to be infeasible due to noise levels, then PG&E will perform the construction work for that portion of their project during the day from 9 am to 3:30 pm," he said.
Neighbors who smell gas and determine it to be saturating the air at an uncomfortable level can report it to PG&E at 1-888-743-7431. During the project, city staff will be working to preserve residents' ability to easily navigate through the city with cars and bicycles.
Richard Angulo, city staff liaison to the , said the bike lane on Sand Hill Road will remain open to through cyclists.
"The construction will go into the bike lane," Angulo said. "But we will maintain at least a four-foot bike lane at all times."
Taylor said the city of Menlo Park will require PG&E to restore the road when the project is completed. “This means that PG&E will be required to grind the entire westbound side of Sand Hill Road, not just the area of their trench, and replace it with 3 inches of new pavement to restore the entire roadway in a uniform manner,” Taylor said.
City staff expect the project to conclude in October.