SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) announced a new, seismically-improved tunnel 3.5 miles long is now delivering water to 2.6 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area after more than four years of construction, according to a press release.

The New Irvington Tunnel Project completes the last of three new tunnels creating a “water lifeline” that can withstand earthquakes on the Calaveras, San Andreas and Hayward faults, stated the release.

The project, located between the Sunol Valley and Fremont, California, is part of SFPUC’s $4.8 billion Water System Improvement Program (WSIP), continued the release.

The release reported that the New Irvington Tunnel, 8.5 feet in diameter, was constructed parallel to the existing Irvington Tunnel, which was completed in 1932.

The existing tunnel will be taken out of service for inspection in the coming weeks, and the project team “will work to restore above-ground facilities around the new tunnel,” noted the release.

“The seismically-resilient New Irvington Tunnel is a project that strengthens the backbone of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System,” said SFPUC General Manager Harlan L. Kelly Jr. “Our successful work investing in the water system will help ensure that we can reasonably protect the health and safety of our Bay Area customers and the economy.”

Read the entire release here.