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Whitmore patch work to cause disruptions
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Road work is scheduled to commence this week to repair the cuts made in the center of Whitmore Avenue from Central Avenue all the way to the eastern city limits last year for the PG&E pipeline replacement.

"For a couple of weeks there will be minor traffic disruptions," said City Manager Toby Wells.

Just repaved in 2011, PG&E ripped up Whitmore Avenue to trench for a new gas line that extends from Highway 99 to Hughson. The work was wrapped up last fall with a temporary asphalt patch. The final repairs were scheduled for the warmer months.

In March 2013, Richard Dye, PG&E's Government Relations Representative told the Ceres City Council that the final result should be to where nobody can tell that cuts were made into Whitmore Avenue.

City Engineer Toby Wells said rather than have PG&E to do a mere slurry seal involving an oil and sand mixture, the company will be required to grind an inch beyond the trench opening, fill in the hole with pea gravel to prevent settling and perform a thin overlay "to give it the best shot at the way it looks today." Dye said the work will be in the center between seams and that the "plan is to not be able to tell."

PG&E is conducting a $769 million replacement of 1,800 miles of gas line in California to prevent another rupture and explosion like the one that rocked San Bruno on Sept. 9, 2010. That incident caused the deaths of eight persons and loss of 38 homes. The Ceres to Turlock replacement is costing $50 million.

The new line is 12 inches in diameter and was planted 15 to 20 feet from the old gas line which will be left in place in the interim because it supplies gas users in Hughson and Turlock. The new gas line is in use, and the old line was abandoned and left buried in the ground.