FAIRFIELD — Detour signs for the Fairfield water line project on Pennsylvania Avenue near Highway 12 will remain up a few weeks longer.
The latest target date to reopen stretches of Pennsylvania Avenue near the highway is mid-October, if all goes well. Pennsylvania Avenue since spring has been closed in two segments: Both lanes south of Highway 12 to Cordelia Road and northbound lanes only north of the highway to Illinois Street.
Workers have put in a 36-inch-diameter water pipe. It will ultimately be part of a new line carrying water from the North Bay Regional Water Treatment Plant near Travis Air Force Base to the Green Valley and Cordelia Villages area.
“Right now, we’re just flushing the new line and getting bacteria samples so they can make the tie-ins,” city Public Works Inspector Brian Morris said.
The laboratory tests take a few days, Morris said. Then welding the new water line at both ends to existing lines takes three to four days, he said.
Welding is done inside and outside of the line, Morris said. That means a worker will be inside the line and have to get out through a manhole once the work is done.
Then comes the paving work and such tasks as striping the renovated road.
Changeable message signs near the project keep motorists up to date on the latest target opening dates. But there are also some standard detour signs put up when work began that still have the original scheduled reopening date — by July 1 of last summer.
City officials said several factors caused delays, among them a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. gas line that wasn’t located precisely where the utility had described. This led to revising part of the water line route.
Fairfield officials then hoped to get the road reopened at the end of August and then at the end of September. But the project has stretched on.
The contractor has had crews on the job six days a week, 10 hours a day, Morris said. They’ve done work in pits 22 feet deep and had to deal with “walls and walls” of other utilities and lines, he said. They’ve dealt with cave-ins and groundwater, he said.
Fairfield in 2011 awarded a $2.5 million contract to Preston Pipeline to do the water line project.
With the Pennsylvania Avenue stretches closed, Highway 12 motorists have taken Beck Avenue or gone through downtown Suisun City to reach Cordelia Road and taken Jackson and Webster streets between the highway and downtown Fairfield.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929, or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.