Officials weighing fix for Hetch Hetchy tunnel

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco’s public utilities commission is deciding whether to rebuild or repair a key tunnel in the Hetch Hetchy water system that it says is in danger of collapse.

San Francisco has long postponed work on the 89-year-old Mountain Tunnel. But Steve Ritchie, with the utilities commission, tells the San Francisco Chronicle its failure would be catastrophic for the region’s water supply, cutting flow by about a quarter.

The commission is now hiring outside consultants to help it decide which way to go on fixing the tunnel. A completely new tunnel would cost up to $630 million.

Repairing the existing tunnel would cost considerably less, but still exceed $100 million.

The Hetch Hetchy system supplies water to about 2.6 million Bay Area residences and businesses.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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