Since the start of construction on February 18, San Diego Gas and Electric Company (SDG&E) crews have trenched more than 3,600 feet along Midway Drive between Lincoln Avenue and the Escondido Creek crossing and installed 3,200 feet of new pipe. Crews are also potholing along Midway Drive from Grand Avenue south to Oak Hill Drive to prepare for trenching. To date, the project is nearly 25 percent complete.
The fiber optic cable is a new technology that will be deployed for the entire 50 miles of Line 1600; with the Midway Drive Replacement Project being the first project to have this technology in San Diego County.
This safety project is deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. Extra precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of SDG&E’s crews and the public.
All workers are required to wear facial coverings and practice social distancing whenever possible while completing the work, as well as comply with CDC recommended hygiene requirements and COVID-19 screenings.
Additionally, because there is less traffic due to many businesses and all schools being closed, the City of Escondido has allowed construction hours to increase by two hours per day, increasing the amount of construction work crews can complete each day.
Over the next several weeks to several months, construction crews will be working along Midway Drive. Construction work zones for pipe installation will typically be approximately 1,000 feet long. On an average day, about 160 feet of pipe will be installed in the trench.
Reduced traffic lanes may be necessary along Midway Drive from the Escondido Creek crossing to Oak Hill Drive until May 28 during the hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m
Traffic control will be set up and flaggers present during these activities. Residents and businesses along Midway Drive will have in and out access during this time. SDG&E is asking that motorists follow the direction of traffic control signs and flaggers as detours are subject to change depending on the location of construction activities. Please plan accordingly and anticipate delays.
Current work activities consist of pot holing, saw-cutting and excavating the trench to prepare for the pipeline replacement. The pipe will contain a special coating that will protect it from corrosion. Once the pipe is installed, it will be welded and x-rayed. Once that is complete, additional pipeline safety features will be installed in the trench, including a yellow warning mesh to prevent accidental dig-ins and fiber optic technology that will detect leaks, intrusion and ground disturbances and alert us immediately. Restoration and repaving activities will finalize the project’s construction.
When complete, the natural gas pipeline safety project will replace 2.4 miles of 1949-vintage pipe in Escondido along Midway Drive from Lincoln Avenue, south to Bear Valley Parkway and ending just south of Highway 78/San Pasqual Valley Road in San Diego County.
More information about the project can be found here: www.sdge.com/major-projects/major-projects-pipeline-safety-enhancement-plan