Lake Murray to Sweetwater Reservoir Pipeline 3 Relining Project

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An excavator breaks up a section of old pipe

Hot Off the Press

On Thursday, July 27, the Water Authority's Board of Directors awarded a $28.6 million construction contract for the project to L.H. Woods & Sons, Inc., of Vista. Construction is anticipated to begin in September.


The Water Authority will begin work in fall 2017 to reline a regional water pipeline, which will extend its service life by 50 to 75 years. The pipeline traverses the western portion of San Diego County from the Riverside County border to Sweetwater Reservoir. The section of pipeline to be relined extends from Lake Murray in the north to Sweetwater Reservoir in the south. It serves the Helix Water District and Sweetwater Authority and traverses portions of Baltimore Drive and Spring Street in La Mesa and the unincorporated communities of Spring Valley and La Presa. A total of 4.3 miles of pipeline will be relined and construction impacts to affected properties are anticipated to be less than nine months.

About This Project

The project will rehabilitate approximately 22,800 feet of 66-inch and 69-inch diameter pipe. Construction crews will conduct most of the work underground, inside the pipe. They will access the pipe by excavating, establishing, and entering the pipeline through 17 access sites, or portals. Most construction activities will occur at these access portals, which will be spaced approximately 525 to 2,500 feet apart. Existing pipeline access structures will also be rehabilitated as part of the project. The portals will be 25-foot-by-60-foot excavated areas.

Much of the construction work associated with the project will be located within public street rights-of-way, where the existing pipeline is located. Lane closures will occur in roadways along portions of the alignment during construction. Work at a limited number of locations may be conducted during nighttime hours to minimize impacts to the community. Where portals are located in the vicinity of residences, large wooden sound walls will be temporarily placed to ease noise impacts to residents.


Upon completion of this project, the Water Authority will have rehabilitated approximately over half of the existing 82.5 miles of Pre-Stressed Concrete Cylinder Pipe (PCCP). For information on PCCP and the Water Authority’s relining program, please visit

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Project design began COMPLETE
Project design ends COMPLETE
Construction anticipated to begin Fall 2017
Construction anticipated to end Summer 2018

*All dates are approximate and subject to change.

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Portal map
Portal map
(View Larger)

Pipeline relining is conducted in several phases.  Primary construction activities will occur at 17 access portals, which will be spaced approximately 525 to 2,500 feet apart.  The portals are developed by removing 40 feet of existing pipe to gain access to the interior of the pipeline and install relining materials.  Not all portals are active at the same time.  Work will shift from one portal to another depending on which phase is under way.

 Much of the construction work associated with the project will be located within public street rights-of-way in the city of La Mesa, underneath Baltimore Drive (south of the Laport Street-El Paso Street intersection), Nebo Drive (to University Avenue), and Spring Street.  Work will extend to some unincorporated areas south of the city. Some portals within the unincorporated portion of the alignment will be located outside of roadways in undeveloped areas.

Click the portal numbers below to open a pdf map of the anticipated location for that portal.

                South of Blue Lake Drive and west of Baltimore Drive

Portal 1            Near Baltimore Drive and El Paso Street

Portal 2            Near Baltimore Drive and Bertro Drive

Portal 3            Baltimore Drive between Lake Murray Boulevard and Aztec Drive

Portal 4            Between Alvarado Road and Interstate 8

Portal 5            Between Alvarado Road and Baltimore Drive

Portal 6            North of Baltimore Drive and El Cajon Boulevard

Portal 7            Southwest of Baltimore Drive and El Cajon Boulevard (will go unused)

Portal 8            Between El Cajon Boulevard and University Avenue

Portal 9            Near University Avenue and Spring Street

Portal 10          Near Spring Street and Finley Avenue

Portal 11          Near Spring Street Trolley Station

Portal 12          Between Fairway Drive and Polaris Drive

Portal 13          Between Golf Drive and Bentley Place

Portal 14          Between Hartzel Drive and Valley View Lane

Portal 15          Near Vista del Oro Way

Portal 16          Near Helix Street and Margaret Court

Portal 17          Between Arran Avenue and Lakeview Avenue

Portal 18          South of Sweetwater Dam near Sweetwater Summit Regional Park



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To see photos of past relining projects, please visit the "Multimedia" section of this web page:


To see videos of past relining projects, please visit the "Multimedia" section of this web page:



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Community Presentations & Events
The Water Authority is committed to keeping residents, elected officials, other government and water agencies, businesses, schools, community groups and organizations in the project areas informed about the project. Water Authority staff shared project information at open house and business events and will be providing additional information or presentations to stakeholders as the project moves forward.
August 8, 2017: City of La Mesa City Council Meeting
May 9, 2017: City of La Mesa City Council Meeting
April 27, 2017: La Mesa Chamber of Commerce Spring Fling Business Expo
February 1, 2017: Helix Water District Board of Directors Meeting
October 11, 2016: Spring Valley Community Planning Group


Project Open House Events:
September 14, 2017: Portal 3 Tent Event
September 7, 2017: Portals 1 & 2 Tent Event
December 15, 2016: Spring Valley Library
December 14, 2016: Nan Couts Cottage @ La Mesa Community Center

On Tuesday, May 16, 2017, neighbors may have noticed Water Authority and other passenger vehicles visiting Water Authority structures and planned project sites. The vehicles spent approximately 10 minutes at each location. This was part of a pre-bid site visit for potential contractors interested in bidding and working on the project. This was NOT the beginning of construction work, which is scheduled to begin this fall.

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The project belongs to a class of projects which have been determined by the State Secretary for Resources not to have a significant effect on the environment and are, therefore, declared to be categorically exempt from the provisions of CEQA; specifically from the requirement for the preparation of environmental documents. The project fits the definition of Class 1 Existing Facilities (CEQA §15301), which is the repair, maintenance, and minor alteration of existing public structures, facilities, mechanical equipment and topographic features involving no or negligible expansion of existing use.


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For more information, please call the 24-hour toll-free project information line at (877) 682-9283, ext. 7005 or email A representative from the project team will return your call within one business day.


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