Road Work Ahead,” “Lane Closed,” “Share the Road,” “Sidewalk closed,” “Tow Away—NO Parking,” “Road Closed”
Why is there so much activity? So many signs?
Natural gas is delivered to Capitola via distribution pipelines, one of which runs underneath Bay Avenue. PG&E is undertaking a several month-long project of testing and upgrading the natural gas pipeline.
Gas that reaches your house comes on a “service” line, and on your side of the gas meter, the pressure is 1/4 of a pound per square inch, sometimes described as less than the pressure generated by a small child blowing bubbles in milk through a straw.
The pipeline under Bay Avenue that’s being tested is a “distribution” pipeline that carries natural gas to end-users in Capitola, and is many, many times smaller than the “transmission” pipeline that leaked and exploded in San Bruno in 2010.
The pipeline will be tested hydrostatically. The section under test is replaced temporarily (hence all the digging) then the gas in the test section is replaced by water. During the actual test, pumps raise the water pressure to the test level, and then operators watch carefully for any pressure losses. Obviously, if there were going to be a leak, we’d rather have it be of water!
PG&E representative Mayra Tostado says “Work is expected to be completed, barring unforeseen delays like inclement weather, in late December.”