A city project that will replace 1.6 miles of water transmission pipes will interrupt traffic between Pacific View Drive to Bayside Drive, beginning around the time school ends in June and taking more than a year, an assistant city engineer told members of the Corona del Mar Residents Association board at a meeting this morning.
“This is going to be tough,” said Mike Sinacori. “This is a major project.”
The Newport Beach City Council voted in January to award a $4,402,750 million contract for the project, which will add a new water main to transport water from the Big Canyon Reservoir and into the city’s water distribution system; read our earlier stories here and here.
Sinacori told the CdMRA board that the project has been needed for years, and that some pipes being replaced date to the 1920s. He also said that Corona del Mar used to have better water pressure when it used a reservoir located near the village, but since the late 1950s when the Big Canyon Reservoir was built, some areas of Corona del Mar have continually had weak water pressure and other issues.
“There’s just not enough water in this part of town,” he said, meaning the area of the OASIS Senior Center, where the meeting was held. The water pressure issues, he said, could cause problems for firefighters if a wildfire threatened Buck Gully, he said. The new system actually will help water pressure in areas including Balboa Island and the airport area, he said, by “balancing out the system a little more.”
The project will require closing sections of local streets in phases for excavation, troubleshooting and laying and connecting about 8,500 feet of pipe, Sinacori said.
Currently, pipes are being fabricated, he said. In June, crews will begin working in the area of San Miguel Drive between MacArthur Boulevard and San Joaquin Hills Road, waiting until schools let out for the summer before moving east of San Joaquin Hills Road. That stretch of San Miguel likely will be closed for a few weeks, and construction crews will use it for staging large excavating equipment, he said.
“It’s going to be tough, but there is no better way to do it,” he said, adding, “It’s going to last 100 years.”
The project then is likely to move to the East Coast Highway area, where crews will bore under East Coast Highway at Carnation Avenue, he said, probably after the Christmas holidays. The construction will move a block or two at a time along Carnation Avenue and along sections of Fifth Avenue and Dahlia Avenue as well as along MacArthur Boulevard.
At times during construction, Sinacori said, the free-right turn from East Coast Highway onto MacArthur Boulevard will be closed. Some night work might be needed during the project when it reaches Fernleaf, he said, which likely will disrupt residents.
City staff will reach out to residents to make them aware in advance of construction in their neighborhoods, Sinacori said. In some cases, a block will be restricted for a week or two, and parking may be restricted. Staff is considering temporary parking permits for affected areas, he said. The city also will use electronic signs throughout Corona del Mar that will explain detours and delays, and will keep a lane of traffic open when possible.
CdMRA President Karen Tringali urged city staff to keep Corona del Mar residents informed of construction schedules, perhaps by using the CdMRA or city website to provide “robust information.”
“Public works will be our new best friends for awhile,” she said. Information about the project also will be available at the Corona del Mar Annual Town meeting, scheduled for April 17 at Sherman Library & Gardens.
Sinacori also said that Dover Drive will be affected by an Orange County Sanitation District project that is scheduled to begin in May. Click here to read more about that project, which will replace a 15-21-inch diameter pipeline with a 24-inch pipeline between Irvine Avenue and Coast Highway.