This update was sent to residents with an error in the text. The original message stated the events took place in June. They took place in July. We apologize for the error.
On Friday, July 21 and Wednesday, July 24, construction workers broke unmarked gas lines while working on the East Blithedale Street Maintenance and Sewer Rehabilitation Project. In both incidents, responders immediately established safety protocols to ensure public welfare: construction staff notified PG&E and emergency responders who were immediately deployed to the site. Mill Valley Police and Fire personnel closed nearby roadways and sidewalks to vehicles and pedestrians and advised residents in the nearby area to shelter in place. In both cases, PG&E staff worked quickly to isolate the problem and repair the leaks, and no injuries were reported.
We apologize for the inconvenience caused by the gas line breaks and thank all residents for their understanding and patience as emergency personnel worked to mitigate the issues. To address resident concerns, we wanted to convey some information about the gas lines found along East Blithedale and our ongoing efforts to work with PG&E to correctly identify their utility locations and depths.
Blithedale Avenue is one of the City’s oldest roads, and has had multiple configurations of sewer, gas, and other utility lines placed under its many layers of pavement throughout its 150 year lifespan. The gas lines under East Blithedale are small, low pressure distribution lines and service laterals.
While gas line breaks are uncommon, unfortunately, there is potential for additional episodes as work continues on the roadway. The City has established response actions for gas line breaks to ensure public safety. The locations of transmission, distribution and service laterals (as well as pressure regulator devices and shut-off valves) in Mill Valley are well known to the City’s Fire and Public Works staff. The City has good communication with PG&E staff and has participated in training events to ensure smooth emergency operations during these types of incidents.
City and PG&E staff will continue to work with the contractor to correctly identify the many unmarked and abandoned utility lines on East Blithedale in order to reduce potential recurrence of these incidents in the future. We appreciate your assistance and cooperation while we work on this important infrastructure project. If you have questions or comments, please call the East Blithedale Project Hotline at 590-0117 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.