Northbound on the Ingraham Street bridge has been reduced to one land for months. / Photo by Thomas Melville
Construction crews replace pipeline on Grand Avenue in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
Some Pacific Beach residents are becoming increasingly perturbed by alleged collateral damage from an infrastructure project that has the beach community torn up from seemingly endless construction.
At issue is the ongoing Pacific Beach Pipeline South and West Projects, which are replacing nearly 39,000 linear feet of water main, and nearly 6,800 feet of sewer main, with new, 16-inch PVC mains. The project, which began July 2016 and is scheduled to conclude October 2019, at a total projected cost of slightly more than $34 million, is estimated to take 55 months to complete.
TC Construction Co. is executing the construction project on Ingraham Street, which cuts across the Pacific Beach, Midway-Pacific Highway and Mission Bay Park areas.
Next Door social media in Pacific Beach has been lit up lately with complaints/questions about pipeline construction and its alleged negative impacts to the community.
“The pipe dig/installation schedule is ridiculous, but my real question is why the street resurfacing after the pipe installation takes so long?” asked Rick Burroughs of PB North. “It seems pretty obvious this project is lacking oversight. Ingraham through Crown Point has been torn up for years … It’s dangerous and embarrassing.”
“I realized they have to change the pipes,” said Erik Eisenhardt. “But it would be nice if, when [the contractor] finished in one area, they would pave the streets and move to the next. It’s just a nightmare. All the streets are torn up.”
“The patchwork is terrible,” said Dan Bernard. “Ingraham felt like the Belmont roller coaster.”
Russell Watson of PB North Shore Highlands concurred.
“The worst road work I’ve ever seen,” Watson said. “The repair work is horrible. They should be doing the whole street instead of patchwork.”
City spokesman Alec Phillipp discussed the pipeline project’s budget and timeline.
“We are currently on schedule to have the project completed in late 2019, but this schedule is subject to change,” Phillipp said. “The project is still on budget, with the full construction contract amount being $34.2 million.”
Phillips said the contractor is “currently installing pipe on Ingraham Street between the two bridges near Vacation Island, and continuing work on the north bridge.”
Phillip added, “Looking forward, the contractor will continue pipe installation in West Mission Bay Drive, and install the last segment of pipe in West Point Loma Boulevard.”
Not all public reaction to pipeline construction has been negative.
Crown Point Drive resident Anabelle described construction workers as “courteous, polite and very caring. They have been working in front of my house for over a month and display professionalism … accommodate our three kids constantly … offered my in-laws ear plugs … They work hard and really know what they are doing.”
“All these cast-iron pipes need to be replaced in the street and on our properties and the whole city is facing the same problem,” said David Clausson in east PB. “Just so happens that time is now.”
Marilyn Link in southwest PB has also been impressed by pipeline work being done on east/west side streets.
“They get in there, and get it done,” Link said. “The detours are minor … their notifications to residents have given ample warning, and the engineering and planning for such a massive project is mind boggling.”
But there have been problems other than excessive dust, noise and traffic dislocation caused by ongoing pipeline replacement.
D. Pierce, a seasonal resident in the 1400 block of Thomas Avenue, said, “We have yet to see a street sweeper in the past three months … The traffic barricades are in my driveway … I called the city street sweeping department and they admit that they cannot do the job when there are temporary water lines. Obviously, the parking enforcement people didn’t get the memo.”
Added Pierce, “It would be interesting to see how much money the city has collected in parking tickets based on the fact that there was no need to enforce the laws, as the streets were never swept due to the construction.”
The city parking enforcement division could not be reached by Beach & Bay Press for comment by press time.
PB resident Matt Phillips of Crown Point North has also taken action, and is actively collecting signatures on the 1500 block of Oliver Avenue and Haines Street demanding the removal of equipment to reclaim lost parking spaces from pipeline work.
Speaking for many on pipeline construction, Sean Brew noted: “I live in Crown Point and there is a ton of major construction projects that seem endless — streets dug up, Ingraham Street bridge, a big barge in Mission Bay. It would be great to have more info on what they are doing, and when they plan to finish.”