Rehab by Helicopter

by Hans H. Torabi, (M.ASCE), Project Manager, Senior Civil Engineer; City of San Diego - Water Utilities Department, San Diego, CA 92101,
Harold B. Tennat, (M.ASCE), project manager, principal civil consultant; Kennedy/Jenks Consultants, Irvine, CA 92715,
A. John Burnell, Structural Engineer; Kennedy/Jenks Consultants, San Francisco, CA 94107,
Thomas C. Benson, Jr., (M.ASCE), principal geotechnical engineer; Converse Consultants West, Monrovia, CA 91016-3500,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1996, Vol. 66, Issue 1, Pg. 44-47

Document Type: Feature article


The City of San Diego's 86-year old Dulzura Conduit has been in almost continuous operation since it first opened in 1909. But by 1984 flow had been reduced to less than 15 mgd; in 1994 the Conduit was closed down for renovations. The renovation project replaced the deteriorated wooden flumes and supporting trestles with 54-inch diameter mortar-lined steel pipe on concrete and steel supports. Due to the inaccessibility and remoteness of the sites, helicopters were used to perform demolition, concrete placement, structural steel erection, and pipe laying. Rock bolts were used to secure the rock at foundations for pipe supports and to prevent loose boulders from sliding down and damaging the new pipe. The project restored the integrity of the conduit while preserving historical aspects and protecting the environment. After a 15-month construction period, the conduit returned to full capacity operation in February 1995.

Subject Headings: Steel pipes | Conduits | Concrete pipes | Rocks | Renovation | Project management | Landslides

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