The San Francisco Bay Division Pipeline Reliability (Bay Tunnel) Project, was recently named a 2015 Public Works Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA). The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, as the managing agency; Michels/Jay Dee/Coluccio, Joint Venture, as the primary contractor; and Jacobs Engineering as the primary consultant; these were presented with the national Project of the Year Award during APWA’s 2015 International Public Works Congress & Exposition Awards Ceremony in Phoenix, Arizona which was held August 30-September 2, 2015.

The APWA Public Works Projects of the Year awards are presented annually to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects, recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, contractor, consultant and their cooperative achievements. This year, APWA selected projects in five categories: Disaster/Emergency, Environment, Historical Restoration, Structures and Transportation. The Bay Tunnel Project was awarded in the APWA Project of the Year Environment category at a cost more than $75 million.

In 2002, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) launched the Water System Improvement Program (WSIP) to repair, replace and seismically upgrade the aging infrastructure in conjunction with an enormous retrofit program, the Hetch Hetchy Water System Improvement Program, that spanned seven counties and included 83 projects to provide reliable, affordable, high-quality drinking water to wholesale and regional retail customers in Alameda, Santa Clara, and San Mateo Counties as well as 800,000 retail customers in San Francisco. During the Condition Assessment, the SFPUC found two major water supply pipeline arteries in the system particularly vulnerable to seismic events. The Bay Division Pipelines (BDPL) 1 and 2 were built during the late 1920’s and early 1930’s and were found to be near the end of their working life. The

replacement of the BDPL 1&2 pipelines with a more seismically robust tunnel (Bay Tunnel) was identified as a key element of the WSIP Program.

As one of the largest projects in the program, the Bay Tunnel provides a conduit across San Francisco Bay in an environmentally and seismically sensitive area, and is located between two of California’s most active faults, the San Andreas Fault and the Hayward Fault. The project’s objectives were to provide a new, seismically reliable pipeline between Newark and Menlo Park, under San Francisco Bay and surrounding marshlands, provide transmission of water across the Bay for replenishment of reservoirs, and also contribute toward meeting the estimated average annual demand in 2018 of one planned shutdown of a major facility for maintenance due to a natural disaster, emergency or facility failure/upset.

The Bay Tunnel Project involved the construction of a 15-foot excavated diameter, five-mile-long tunnel that sits up to 110 feet under the San Francisco Bay and adjacent marshlands. The tunnel’s alignment was located between two vertical shafts, one at each end of the tunnel, with access structures and pipeline connections from the Bay Tunnel to the existing BDPL 1 & 2, and the new BDPL 5. The Bay Tunnel is the very first tunnel excavated by a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) under San Francisco Bay. It is a critical lifeline facility designed to remain operable following a major seismic event in the San Francisco Bay Area.

For more information on the APWA 2015 Projects of the Year, please contact APWA Media Relations/Communications Manager, Laura Bynum,, or call 202.218.6736.