Crestmoor rebuilding and recovering

Photo by David Evans/The Skyline View file photo


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Late last year, the Crestmoor Reconstruction Project was approved by the San Bruno City Council; it is aimed at repairing the damage caused by the Sept. 9 San Bruno fire, improving the neighborhood, and addressing the concerns of the neighborhood.

In a town hall meeting on Jan. 26, Connie Jackson, the city manager, stated that at this point in time the city government has yet to determine the total cost of the project.

“Nobody knows for sure, we have different bids going out at different time for reconstruction. At this point in time we wouldn’t be able to know how much it’s going to cost.” said San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane when asked whether the City was any closer to determining how long the project will take to be completed.

The objective of the project is to repair and improve the infrastructure that was damaged by the 2010 explosion. This includes not only rebuilding the houses that were lost, but repairing and improving the water, sewer, storm drains, gas lines, street lights, and the replanting of the upper portion of the Crestmoor Canyon which was burnt during the fire.

The project is funded by $50 million which PG&E has set aside; this $50 million is in addition to the $70 million that PG&E has agreed to pay the City of San Bruno in restitution. These funds are to be used by a non-profit entity for the benefit of the whole community.

“These funds will never bring back the lives that were taken…we will never forget the tragedy, but we must move beyond the explosion as individuals and as a community,” Mayor Jim Ruane in an press release early this year—when it was confirmed that PG&E will be paying $70 million in restitution to the City.

These restitution funds will be used for a greater good for all the citizens of our city and to help us, as a community, move forward,” said Mayor Jim Ruane.

The project has been broken into four phases. The majority of phase one, which links the water line in Crestmoor to the one under Sneath Lane, was worked on late last year but it was not until April 2012 that the last of phase one was completed.

Phase two will see repairs to the underground utilities, such as water, sewer, storm drains, and the streets damaged by the explosion.

Phase three is the same as phase two; with the only differences being that it will see to the rest of the neighborhood improved upon and also addressing the concerns of the Crestmoor community in addition to any further problems that the City is able to identify. For example, the concerns of members of the community in the amount of traffic in the neighborhood lead to the City including traffic calming measures designed to improve traffic flow.

The final phase will see the Earl/Glenview Park and replanting of the upper portions of the Crestmoor Canyon which were destroyed in the 2010 fire, two years ago.

The inability of the City to determine the total cost of the project or how long it will take to complete the project is due to a number of reasons but the two that stand out the most is the desire from PG&E and the City to make sure that it addresses the needs of the Crestmoor neighborhood successfully.

On Aug. 30, PG&E began filling two sections of Line 132, the pipe responsible for the San Bruno explosion two years ago, in coordination with staff from the City of San Bruno and Integrity Maintenance Solutions American. Inc, a firm that was hired by the City of San Bruno to help in overseeing PG&E work in and around San Bruno.

Integrity Maintenance Solution American. Inc was hired on a ‘time and expense’ contract which is designed to be flexible, especially when the length of service is impossible to determine by the client.

According to a letter from PG&E to residents of Crestmoor, two sections of Line 132, under Claremont Dr and Glenview Dr, were to be filled with a concrete slurry, and it also states that the rest of the Line 132 is to be filled at a later date once further testing of Line 132 has determined that they no toxins chemicals are found inside or around Line 132.

“We are currently taking samples of pipe in other parts of the neighborhood before proceeding with work there. We will keep the City and community updated on the timeline to complete testing and slurry filling the other sections of pipe in the near future. In addition, based upon community input, we will be performing additional testing of the soils surrounding these pipes in the near future. These test results will be shared with the City of San Bruno and the community.” wrote PG&E Business Customer Representative David Gutierrez in a letter to residents.

Line 132 extends north, towards Sneath Lane and south towards San Bruno Avenue.

The decision by the City of San Bruno to fill Line 132 was made after it performed a survey that indicated that the majority of the residents of Crestmoor favored filling the Line 132 with an concrete slurry rather than having the line completely removed which would have delayed the City “Crestmoor Neighborhood Reconstructions Projects.”