Gas Company Starts Pipeline Safety Work in South Pasadena


Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) will continue conducting safety and maintenance work this summer and fall on its natural gas pipeline system in South Pasadena, Alhambra and San Marino.
“The work is a result of the unfortunate accident that caused an explosion in San Bruno (California) a few years ago,” explained South Pasadena City Manager Sergio Gonzalez. “A high pressure gas line exploded and killed people.”
Gonzalez stressed that the utility companies are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the equipment and “when you’re dealing with natural gas, it can be very dangerous. SoCalGas is mandated to conduct tests on these types of lines. One just happens to be in our city border, along with San Marino (along Garfield Avenue). Over the next several months, they’re going to be testing the high pressure gas line to make sure the integrity is still there. If it’s not, they’ll be making repairs to replacing it and making sure it doesn’t have any leaks. SoCalGas is going to be doing some hydro pressure testing, meaning they will be putting water in the line to test it at a very high pressure.”
The work will affect traffic in those cities and surrounding neighborhoods through mid-November.
SoCalGas dedicates significant resources to improving the safety and integrity of its more than 101,000 miles of natural gas pipelines. In 2016, the company plans to spend approximately $1.2 billion for improvements to distribution, transmission and storage systems and for pipeline safety. The work in Alhambra and surrounding cities is part of several SoCalGas safety and maintenance programs approved by the California Public Utilities Commission.
Pipeline maintenance and replacement work is currently underway on Garfield Avenue beginning south of Huntington Drive and continuing North to Monterey Road, as well as along westbound Huntington Drive beginning at Garfield Street and continuing southwest to La Senda Place. In addition, pipelines will be replaced along La Senda Place beginning at Huntington and continuing to Garfield, and along Callita Place. This work will continue until approximately the end of August.
To maintain safety during this work, traffic on Garfield Avenue between Huntington Drive and Oak Street will be diverted to Las Robles at varying times through the end of July. Detours will begin at 8 a.m. on weekdays and will end at 5 p.m. to avoid the evening rush hour.
Additional work begins in early September, when SoCalGas crews will be excavating pipeline and installing testing components at the intersection of West Mission Road and South Marengo Avenue in Alhambra, the intersection of Huntington Drive and Garfield Avenue in South Pasadena, as well as on Garfield Avenue near Callita Place in San Marino. There will be temporary lane closures.
Finally, in mid-September three excavations will take place along Electric Avenue, in 8-by-15-foot sections, between Huntington Drive and West Mission Road.
Weather and other factors affecting safe working conditions could change construction scheduling.
Traffic control and detour signs will be placed to guide motorists and facilitate the flow of traffic. Digital message boards, safety cones and flaggers will be on-site directing traffic. The company advises motorists to drive carefully past the work sites and observe all traffic control signs.
Drivers and pedestrians passing by the construction sites may see excavated sections of pipeline with construction equipment and traffic control signage as well as trucks and other vehicles.
Meanwhile, County Supervisor Michael Antonovich and County Counsel hosted a press conference at the Hall of Administration on Monday to discuss the county’s decision to file a lawsuit to order Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) to install sub-surface safety shut-off valves on every gas storage well it operates in the county.

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