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By Joe Naiman
Village News Reporter 

SRK given FPUD contract to replace Gum Tree Pipeline


Last updated 4/8/2021 at 4:37pm

SRK Engineering received the Fallbrook Public Utility District contract to replace FPUD’s Gum Tree Pipeline.

The FPUD board voted 5-0 Monday, March 22, to award SRK a $428,500 contract, which matches the Escondido company’s bid. The work will replace approximately 1,400 feet of 20-inch diameter cement mortar lined and coated steel pipe along with associated appurtenances.

FPUD's pipeline and valve replacement program includes a priority list of replacement projects. The criteria includes the facility age and a history of failures.

“We identified the Gum Tree Pipeline as a priority because of its age and multiple leaks in recent years,” FPUD senior engineer Aaron Cook said.

The Gum Tree Pipeline connects to Red Mountain.

“It’s a large transmission main and serves a majority of our customers,” Cook said.

Drainage crossing vulnerability was another factor in the Gum Tree Pipeline being selected for replacement.

“There are some sections of it that are above grade,” Cook said.

FPUD staff prepared a design package and solicited bids. The district received 14 bids by the March 11 deadline.

“There’s fortunately a number of bidders,” Dave Baxter, FPUD board member, who chairs the district’s Engineering and Operations Committee. “Material cost was a great concern.”

SRK provided the low bid. M-Rae Engineering, which is based in Descanso, had the second-lowest bid at $445,000.

The district has had positive experiences with SRK.

“They have done work for us successfully in the past,” Jack Bebee, FPUD general manager, said.

When the FPUD board adopted the district’s 2020-2021 budget, the capital program included $1,298,000 for pipeline replacement projects and $370,500 of that was budgeted for the Gum Tree Pipeline replacement. At the time the scope of the project included a shorter segment, but during the design process additional replacement was determined to be necessary and the entire length of the pipeline will be replaced.

The replacement, and thus the expenditures, will likely take place during fiscal year 2021-2022 rather than in 2020-2021.

“We’re slightly behind schedule,” Cook said.

Bidding took place four months later than planned due to design challenges associated with right of way issues. The pipe must be fabricated and delivered before SRK can perform the replacement work.

The right of way issues delayed the project but may be of benefit to motorists.

“Because the work is in a remote right of way area, traffic impacts will be minimal,” Cook said.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected]


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