That's what Naval Base Point Loma (NBPL) Capt. Howard Warner III told Peninsula residents at a June 22 public workshop on progress being made on repair and relocation of portions of its 17.3-mile pipeline running between NBPL and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
The original 17.3-mile pipeline, built in 1954 with a 30-year designed life, provides fuel for Navy ships and aircraft.
Work on relocating 3.5 miles of pipeline from the La Playa area to Lytton Street to Rosecrans Street right-of-way, with segments along Talbot, Scott and Keats streets, began in February 2016.
Noting the pipeline is “the main artery of diesel fuel transportation for our ships an aircraft,” Warner added, “It's our only West Coast refueling station.”
Warner, who assumed command of NBPL in August 2014, said the project includes installation of five new isolation valves to “mitigate leakage in the event of a seismic event causing a rupture in the pipeline.”
A one-mile section of the existing pipeline at the San Diego River crossing is also being relocated.
Concerning ongoing pipeline construction, Warner noted “safety is our number one priority.”
The NBPL commander strongly cautioned the public against entering the construction zone while pledging to “minimize the impact to our community and businesses. We have been diligent to ensure you have access to and from your homes and places of business.”
Warner noted pipeline construction progresses about 120 linear feet per day – more than 9,000 feet (nearly two miles) to date have been laid.
“We're maintaining two-way traffic flow and will be conducting night work at the six main intersections to minimize impacts on traffic and the community,” Warner added.
The Naval base commander said hangars will be placed on doors in residential neighborhoods five days in advance of pipeline construction work.
The Navy is removing 1,175 feet of pipeline in the section along the La Playa Bayside Trail before restoring it. Restoration work will stabilize the trail's previously eroded slope and revegetate with non-invasive, native plants. Trail users and those near it should expect noise and temporary closure of portions of the trail during construction.
For project inquiries call toll-free at 844-409-9846, email NAVFAC_SW_MiramarPi[email protected] or visit www.cnic.navy,mil/NBPLMiramarPipeline for more information.