A 3,000-foot water pipeline installed below the Oakland Estuary earlier this month will replace a 1940s-vintage cast-iron pipe that was susceptible to earthquake damage, according to officials at the East Bay Municipal Utility District.

Before being pulled through a bore hole north of Estuary Park in Oakland on April 7 and 8, the new pipeline was stretched out a half-mile along Mitchell Avenue in Alameda.

“The pull of the new pipe under the estuary was a remarkable feat of engineering and construction,” said district Board Director Doug Linney.

The new 32-inch diameter pipeline will improve system reliability during an earthquake, according to district officials.

The pipeline stretches for half a mile along Mitchell Avenue in Alameda as crews working at the head end prepare to install it beneath the Oakland Estuary on April 7, 2023. (EBMUD via Bay City News)

The design, construction and installation of the pipeline took nearly a decade of work and partnerships, starting in 2014 with the district’s completion of plans to replace four water transmission lines that serve Alameda with three transmission lines. Eventually a $25 million contract was awarded to Cratus Inc. in 2022.

In the coming months, crews plan to install two miles of 24-inch steel pipeline to connect the new pipe to the district system in both Oakland and Alameda.

Once the new transmission line is in service, district officials will determine whether the old cast-iron pipeline can be used as a recycled water line.

Work on the second Alameda transmission replacement at Bay Farm Island will start in about five years, to be followed by a final crossing parallel to Park Street.