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CES scheduled to replace base waterline

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The 30th Civil Engineer Squadron is scheduled to replace a water main along Utah Avenue from March 29 to July 31.

The squadron will replace a 1940s-vintage, 27-inch reinforced concrete waterline with new high-density polyethylene pipe from the Utah Gate to Juniper Street.

Throughout the entire construction period, Utah Avenue from Korina Avenue near the Utah Gate to Juniper Street will accept only inbound traffic and outbound traffic will need to use Korina Avenue to exit the base through the Utah Gate. Click here to see the maps for more information.

However, early in the construction period, work will take place at the intersection of Utah and Korina avenues near the Utah Gate. The intersection will close at this time for about five days. During this time, drivers can still enter the base through the Utah Gate, but must exit the base via the Santa Maria or Solvang gates. The Utah Gate will stay open with normal operating hours, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., during the construction.

While replacing the waterline will cause some traffic disturbances, it is necessary because of where the waterline enters the base and the layout of base housing.

"Putting the waterline in between the curb and the sidewalk would require taking out and replacing all of the irrigation systems in that area," said Bert Johnson, the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron project manager. "Even if we put the line there, we would still have to close the inbound lane of Utah for pipe, fill material and fusing equipment."

Even though the construction may seem like an inconvenience, there are two important points to remember, said Mr. Johnson. First, replacing the old waterline will ensure base personnel and residents receive quality water well into Vandenberg's future. The second thing to remember is safety.

"During the construction, people may get frustrated with backups along the road, especially near the school during pick-up and drop-off hours," he said. "We need everyone to observe the rules of the road for their safety and the safety of the children going to and from school."

During the peak traffic times in the morning and afternoon when children are going to and from school, extra school crossing guards will be on hand to assist. The 30th Security Forces Squadron will also be on hand, both mobile and on foot, checking on the area to ensure compliance with the traffic laws.

If someone violates a traffic law in a construction zone on Vandenberg, they will be cited for the said violation, said Master Sgt. Matthew Hansen, the 30th SFS NCO in charge of garrison flight operations. In addition, it will be noted in the remarks section of the citation that the violation occurred in a construction zone and/or near a school, which increases the severity of the violation. If enough violations are documented, the violators driving privileges on the installation can be revoked and their license may be suspended or revoked.

For more information on the Utah Avenue waterline construction project, call the 30th CES project manager at 605-2968 or 606-5372.