College Lake Pipeline Project
Work continues along Holohan Road Wednesday to develop College Lake as a new water supply for the Pajaro Valley. The work will extend along Riverside Drive starting Monday. Photo: Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

Starting Monday, construction work on the College Lake Pipeline Project in Watsonville will move onto Riverside Drive for the next six months.

With around five miles of the pipeline now completed, and a mile left to go, the project will provide a 30-inch water main to transport treated water from a new College Lake facility on Holohan Road to more than 5,000 acres of farmland via the Coastal Distribution System already in place.

Marcus Mendiola, Water Conservation and Outreach Specialist with the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency, said the Riverside work will take place from 9am to 4pm and 6pm to 7am. Construction will not occur on weekends. It will start at Sakata Lane and Riverside Drive and work its way east toward Main Street.

“The job will affect eastbound traffic,” Mendiola said. “Westbound traffic should not be affected. After crossing Main Street the work will continue from Union Street east to Salsipuedes Creek by Blackburn Street and the Watsonville Buddhist Temple.”

Project details include:

• One-lane traffic control will occur on Highway 129 (Riverside Drive) west of Union Street.

• Streetside parking will be unavailable on Highway 129 (Riverside Drive) east of Union Street.

• Construction will take place on the eastbound lane.

This project will use the lake water to reduce groundwater pumping, helping to reduce groundwater overdraft and seawater intrusion, while improving habitat for the endangered South-central California coast steelhead. There are two components to the project: the water treatment plant and intake facilities, and the pipeline.

The Riverside work is expected to continue through June.

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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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