Pacific Gas and Electric Co. crews completed temporary repairs to high-voltage electric transmission equipment in Burlingame this week after a third party doing construction work severely damaged a tower and related electrical equipment last Friday night, closing Highway 101. These towers carry power to the Peninsula and throughout San Francisco.
PG&E partnered with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and Caltrans to allow the work to be conducted safely, without any risk to employees or the public. The repairs required the closure of a stretch of Highway 101 in Burlingame in San Mateo County, beginning at 10:00 p.m. Sunday and completed on schedule at just before 4:00 a.m. on Monday.
“We thank first responders, the CHP and Caltrans for their collaboration and for working with us every step of the way to make these needed repairs safely and quickly. We appreciate the patience of the local community and impacted motorists, and are grateful for their support these past few days,” said Jason Regan, director of Emergency Management at PG&E.
In the coming weeks, PG&E will need to do further repairs and replace the temporary poles that were erected to replace the severely damaged tower.
A non-PG&E third-party contractor, Jafec USA, severely damaged a major transmission tower that carries power to the Peninsula and San Francisco on Friday night, bringing high-voltage power lines down onto the freeway, city streets and a pedestrian walkway. PG&E and first responders, including the CHP and local police and fire agencies, worked to make the area safe as quickly as possible, resulting in no injuries.
A crane operated by the contractor buckled the tower, and the resulting strain on the transmission wires caused damage to the two other connected transmission towers. Caltrans provided three 80-foot wooden poles to allow PG&E to quickly construct a temporary replacement for the most seriously damaged tower.
PG&E had electric first responders on site within 10 minutes of the accident, and additional resources and crews from across Northern California were dispatched to the scene. Specialized equipment, personnel and vehicles are integral for a repair job of this magnitude on a primary artery of the electric system.