This major utility project facilitated the construction of Chou Hall, a beautiful, six-story building at the heart of the Berkeley Haas Business School campus. As a donor project, the biggest issue we faced was the tight deadline provided. With only a few months to design and complete this utility relocation project to ensure the on-time construction of the new six-story building, Bellecci was faced with the difficult task of meeting client expectations within a short period of time.
Bellecci’s task was to provide design for the relocation of major campus utilities, which were directly in conflict with the new campus building. To start with, a small historic house was originally located on the site where Chou Hall was built, which was being used as a daycare center. Because of its historic nature, the house had to be moved and preserved elsewhere to provide space for this project to commence.
The site, however, had other complexities. Strawberry Creek, a stream that carries water from the surrounding areas, runs directly through it. In the past, the creek flowed underneath the parking lot and the California Memorial Stadium. However, we quickly realized the flow of the creek needed to be adjusted and to clear the underground area for the new education building, including underground space and foundations.
To make way, we designed the rerouting of two major storm drainpipes that emptied into the creek. These pipes were known by their nicknames, “big inch,” and “little inch,” after the historic pipelines laid in WWII. Redirecting both pipes involved careful planning, and even a hydraulic jump for big inch. However, Bellecci’s efforts were successful in redirecting all components to maintain the natural flow of the creek, even during construction with no soil and silt contamination of the creek water.
Campus steam and condensate lines and campus water mains were also relocated as part of the five-million-dollar project. Bellecci designed 400 feet of new steam and condensate lines, with four new steam vaults to meet the campus steam system standards.
Overall, Bellecci’s role extended beyond just utility relocations. We worked closely with the architect to determine the correct pipe sizes for the building, to ensure efficient operations and resource allocation. The combination of design and functionality was essential to our approach.
The success of this project was a testament to our dedication to excellence. Despite all challenges, we were able to successfully design and execute all relocations before the deadline, clearing the way for construction to commence.
Bellecci was entrusted with the important task of replacing aging water lines for the City of Martinez as part of its ongoing Capital Improvement Program. The city sought our expertise and experience to meet the growing demand for water infrastructure and fulfill fire flow requirements, with the primary objective of bringing this vital project to fruition.
In 2017, the City initiated a widespread water line replacement project that covered more than twenty streets in the city. By replacing aging water lines, the project not only improved the overall reliability of the system, but also provided essential support for the city’s ongoing growth and development. However, the narrow streets and existing utilities presented unique challenges that required meticulous planning and coordination.
We conducted thorough field investigations to ensure proper planning and coordination with stakeholders, particularly in maintaining clearances from sewer, storm, gas, and oil pipelines. These challenges were no match for our expertise and experience, as we were able to overcome them and create a pathway to the project’s successful completion.
While most of the project sites were straightforward, there were unexpected challenges that required both adaptability and precision. For example, at one location, we had to replace an existing T connection, which required careful planning and execution to minimize disruptions. On Pine Street, there was a 14-inch water line that needed meticulous detailing and coordination to ensure a seamless transition and minimal disruption to services.
The successful completion of the water line replacement project in the City of Martinez showcases Bellecci’s ability to tackle complex infrastructure projects and deliver high-quality results. We are proud to have played a role in enhancing the city’s infrastructure and supporting its continued development.