The Coast News Group
Frank Belock (at podium), the project’s deputy general manager, tries to answer Mayor Matt Hall’s questions during the March 12 City Council meeting about how the effects on traffic and businesses will be mitigated during the construction of the desalination plant’s pipeline through Carlsbad. Photo by Rachel Stine

Council concerns grow over pipeline build

CARLSBAD — City Council members expressed concerns during its March 12 meeting over traffic and business disruption and delays during the construction of the water pipeline from Carlsbad’s new desalination plant. 


“Have you taken the time personally to drive through the business park and have a feel of what’s there and the dynamics of what’s happening up there and the friction or the tension points that might happen as you go through the city?” asked Mayor Matt Hall of Frank Belock, the project’s deputy general manager.

Most of the 10-mile pipeline will stretch through Carlsbad, with small portions at the end extending into Vista and San Marcos.

Much of the pipeline will run along Cannon Road and Faraday Avenue.

The plant’s contractor will spend upcoming months tearing up these streets to construct the steel pipeline.

Each 300-foot section of pipe will require about three to five days to install, according to Senior Vice President Peter MacLaggan of Poseidon Resources, the desalination plant’s private developer.

“I’ll be blunt, how long are you going to tear up our streets?” asked Councilmember Keith Blackburn.

MacLaggan could not answer with an exact amount of time because Poseidon and Carlsbad city staff were still deciding upon construction times and hours.

Hall voiced concerns about how construction of the pipeline could block businesses, as well as traffic.

“Who is going to physically walk from business to business and along that route and create some sort of comfort zone as to how all of this is going to come together?” he asked.

Belock stated that he personally, along with the project’s staff, would be available to work with local businesses, but acknowledged that no one had met with each business that could potentially be affected.

“They’ll (project staff) will be out there talking to whoever they need to talk to,” he said.

“I’m on a fairly short leash with you guys,” he said.

The desalination plant must be completed by the time it’s required to start delivering water 34 months from the start of this year in accordance with its agreement with the San Diego County Water Authority.

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Tappleg* March 14, 2013 at 2:54 pm

It would be nice if this attitude permeated through City Hall, i.e., minimize the disruption of business and inconvenience to citizens during periods of construction. Unfortunately, the City only preaches this attitude with third party contractors. How many times has Palomar Airport Road been torn up and worked on in the middle of the daily commuting times?

vaterfair March 14, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Don’t know, but in Chicago there are two seasons; Winter and Road Construction. And we don’t have Winter.

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