The California Water Service company will soon begin a months-long project to replace 3,875 feet of water main on Santa Cruz Avenue between Olive Street (near Hillview Middle School) and University Drive.
The project is tentatively set to begin the first week of August and take 50 to 75 work days, or 10 to 15 weeks, to complete, according to Dawn Smithson, manager of Cal Water's Bear Gulch District.
Construction will be done by West Valley Construction, which will work from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
During construction, one lane of Santa Cruz Avenue will be closed and there will be no parking allowed on both sides of the street during working hours, according to Ms. Smithson.
A 6-inch cast iron main will be replace with a 12-inch iron ductile main. The location of the main would move from the side of the street to the middle, Ms. Smithson said.
The project will take place a couple of years earlier than it otherwise might have because of Menlo Park's project to install sidewalks and storm drains along that stretch of Santa Cruz Avenue, she said. The water main is somewhat in the way of the proposed sidewalk installations.
The water main stretches over half a mile and passes homes, businesses and cross-streets, each of which has water connections that will have to be disconnected and reconnected when the new main is installed.
Residents will receive notice 24 hours in advance of when their water service will be disrupted. Water shutoffs should not last more than two hours, but it is a good idea to fill containers or a bathtub before water is turned off, Ms. Smithson said.
The current water mains the water district uses are "small and old, and water doesn't flow through them as easily," she said.
Each day, trenches will be back-filled with temporary asphalt, and permanent asphalt will be replaced when the project is done, she said.
When the water main is fully replaced, Ms. Smithson said, the main is expected to be less likely to break and will allow the fire department to extract more water from hydrants quickly at times of emergency.