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Update: Proposed St. Mary’s Road closure may be held until summer 2020
By Pippa Fisher
After this issue of Lamorinda Weekly went to press, PG&E made a presentation at the July 8 Lafayette City Council meeting, during which time the council strongly suggested that the project be deferred until next summer once PG&E has all the permits necessary and can give a firm start date. This would allow more time for community outreach prior to the work, allow the project to be completed before school starts and allow more time for the utility to work with city staff to avoid traffic complications of people cutting through the Burton Valley neighborhood. PG&E Public Affairs Spokesperson Marcos Montes agreed to take these suggestions and the call for a more transparent answer to a question posed by Vice Mayor Susan Candell about why this project wasn’t rolled into the work done last year, back to the gas transmission leadership team.
Published July 10th, 2019
Here we go again - PG&E work to close St. Mary's Road this summer
PG&E still needs to complete work on the gas pipeline along a stretch of St. Mary's Road. Photo Pippa Fisher

If it sounds familiar, that's because it is the same as last year. Pacific Gas and Electric Company will be replacing sections of its natural gas pipeline between Rohrer Drive and South Lucille Lane. The utility expects to begin work in early July and continue until late August.
The company held an open house on June 26 to inform the public about the project and about the impact to residents. Representatives explained to the few residents in attendance that the work will affect traffic with lane closures and traffic control at times. St. Mary's Road will be closed between South Lucille Lane and Rohrer Drive during the crew's working hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. when school is in session.
Residents north of South Lucille Lane will need to detour north on St. Mary's Road and residents south of Rohrer Drive will have to detour south on St. Mary's Road during work hours. PG&E will have flaggers to help direct traffic and will clearly mark all work areas.
"This modernizing of our pipelines is one of many projects we are undertaking to become the safest, most reliable gas system in the nation," said PG&E Diablo Division Senior Manager Victor Baker in a letter to customers.
The work to install new higher capacity 12-inch pipeline was left incomplete after the rest of the line was replaced last summer because PG&E did not receive the necessary Fish and Wildlife permit needed to replace the pipe under the creek at the bridge in time, according to Project Manager Robert Hartsock when asked, citing the length of time it takes to pull permits.
Neighbors are frustrated. Lafayette resident Susan Callister asked in an email to the city council, "Why did PG&E fail to get this permit in time which would have eliminated the necessity to return for a second digging?"
"Why did PG&E schedule construction (through) late August which will impact school commutes to St. Mary's College and Campolindo High School?" continued Callister.
Hartsock confirmed that as it did last summer, PG&E will be working closely with police and fire departments to ensure safety and access for emergency vehicles.
For further information on the project residents can contact their local PG&E representative Julian Lacson at (925) 348-3532 or email gasprojectinfo@pge.com.

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