Hetch Hetchy Upgrade On a Roll

Dam building continues at Calaveras Reservoir just up the road from the new Irvington Hetch Hetchy tunnel.

Dam building continues at Calaveras Reservoir.


For the past couple of years I’ve been watching progress on the Hetch Hetchy Irvington Tunnel visible from Calaveras Road. Today as I rode by I saw a huge concrete edifice up against the hill, a 17 million gallon water storage tank next to the tunnel entrance.

It’s amazing what $4.2 billion will buy you, the cost of the Hetch Hetchy upgrade. KQED posted a fascinating 11-minute video on the Irvington tunnel and the Hetch Hetchy water system.

Meanwhile, as I continued up Calaveras Road I passed by yet another public works project, the rebuilding of Calaveras Reservoir, which has been deemed unsafe in the event of a mighty temblor.

It felt like one giant public works project on this ride. Dumbarton Bridge is still undergoing earthquake retrofitting, but that work did not disrupt my ride. Construction on the Alameda Creek Trail finished a while ago, so it’s open for business. Tree roots make for a bumpy ride in many sections.

Talk about bumpy, Niles Canyon Hwy 84 now has a rumble strip down the middle its entire length. It didn’t seem to affect drivers. In narrow sections they still moved over to pass.

Finally, most of the trees have been removed alongside San Tomas Expressway as work continues on the next stretch of the San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail from Cabrillo to El Camino. There’s still no indication of how the San Tomas/El Camino intersection will be treated.

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