San Francisco (Calif.). Board of Supervisors.

The municipal employee (Volume v.3 (Jan. - Sept. 1929)) online

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1901 to September, 1901.

Instrument man for the same firm on
surveys for proposed hydroelectric projects
in Kings County — September, 1901 to June,

Chainman and instrument man under A.
B. Dodd, Resident Engineer and George
Dillman (deceased). Chief Engineer, on
surveys for the Western Pacific Railway in


Nevada and California — June, 1903
June, 1904.

In charge of approximately sixty miles
of transmission line; ditch, tunnel and
flume construction for the North Mountain
Power Company, in Trinity County, under
J. B. Rogers, Chief Engineer — June, 1904
to January, 1905.

■"•^construction of the Ocean Shore Rail-
way Company, California — January, 1905,
to August, 1909.

It was in August, 1909, that Mr. McAfee
cast his lot with the City Engineer's office
in San Francisco. A history of his engi-
neering accomplishments in that depart-
ment, to date, follows:

Assistant Engineer under City Engineer
Marsdon Manson, in charge of construction
of cisterns (High Pressure Fire System),
storm and sanitary sewers; Mission Viaduct
—1909 to 1912.

Assistant Engineer under City Engineer
M. M. O'Shaughnessy, in charge of con-
struction of the Fort Vinson Pumping Sta-
tion (High Pressure Fire System); Stock-
ton Street Tunnel and Twin Peaks Tun-
nel— 1912 to 1917.

Construction Engineer, Hetch Hetchy
JVater Supply, under City Engineer M. J\I.
O'Shaughnessy, in charge of construction
of ditch, flume and Power House (4500
h.p.); Lake Eleanor Dam and excavation
for the O'Shaughnessy Dam foundations,
Tuolumne County — 1917 to 1921.

Construction Engineer, Hetch Hetchy
Water Supply, in charge of Mountain and
Foothill Divisions, consisting of thirty-six
miles of tunnel; Priest and Moccasin
Dams; ^loccasin Power House and Pen-
stocks— 1921 to 1930.

Appointed Chief Assistant City Engineer
Hetch Hetchy project. March 3, 1930.

Accomplishments such as those enumer-
ated demand continuity of thought and ac-
tion, determination and force, for those
qualifications must, of necessity, be among
the essentials in the engineer who is a leader
on the road to success.

Mr. ]\IcAfee is happily married and the
father of three delightful children. His
recreation is found in motion pictures.



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By M. M. O'Shaughnessy

City Engineer


THE Hetch Hetchy project is being
built by San Francisco to furnish
two fundamental utilities. The first
and most important is an adequate
water supply. The second, hydro-
electric power, a by-product of the
water supply, generated by the fall of
the water in its transit from the moun-
tain reservoirs to the San Joaquin
\'alley. will produce a large revenue
to aid in reducing taxes.

Few City Projects Larger

There are very few cities in the
world that have constructed larger
projects. This will supply water
enough for a future population of at
least five million people. At the pres-
ent time there are less than one and
one-quarter million people on the two
sides of San Francisco Bay. Mocca-
sin Power Plant, the first major
plant completed, delivers nearly three-
fourths of the power now used for all
purposes in San Francisco.

Why was it necessarj' for the mu-
nicipality to supplant the private cor-
poration supplying water to the city .■"
That company owned the peninsular
reservoirs in San Mateo County and
the transbay supply from watersheds
in Santa Clara and Alameda counties,
a total watershed of 62.000 acres. The
city, comprising 27,000 acres of land,
reached the limit of its demand on the
capacity of the pieninsular lakes in
1^8. The transbav sources were then

added and are now- furnishing two-
thirds of the total supply. Investiga-
tions proved that it was wiser for San
Francisco as a city to create all fur-
ther additions to the water supply
which must be made. Because of the
magnitude of the undertaking and be-
cause it is the accepted policy for all
progressive cities of this size to be
free from private control of a water
supply, it became the duty of the city
government to underwrite the project.
A few^ years prior to 1908 investi-
gations of possible municipal sources
were started. Fourteen supplies
throughout central and northern Cali-
fornia were studied by engineers.
They reported Hetch Hetchy to be the
best in quality, power possibilities, and
least expensive to construct and oper-
ate. Because the proposed reservoirs
were in the Yosemite National Park,
permission for the construction had to
be granted by the Federal Government.
This limited permission was first given
San Francisco by Secretary of the In-
terior Garfield, after eight years of
waiting, in 1908. Two years later, in
1910, the people, by a twenty to one
vote, authorized 843,000,000 in bonds
to build the system.

Opposition Crops Up

Then the trouble began. Opposi-
tion cropped out from four sources:
by the private Spring \'alley Water
Company, the Turlock-Modesto Irri-

gation Districts, power promoters, and
sentimental nature lovers. It required
four years to satisfy the Federal Gov-
ernment in Washington that there
were more reasons to justify San
Francisco's application than objections
presented by opposing forces.

Settled by Congress

It was finally settled by Act of Con-
gress in 1913 granting rights to San
Francisco to build dams and use water
from this watershed of 420,000 acres
in the northern part of Yosemite Na-
tional Park. There were many {joints
in the Act limiting San Francisco's
rights and making certain demands :
( 1 ) Most important was the agree-
ment that the farmers on the Tuol-
umne River would be assured the same
amount of water for irrigation that
they hitherto had been using; (2) San
Francisco must build hydro-electric
power plants early in the construction
program; (3) San Francisco is now
paying $20,000 and must ultimately
pay the Government $30,000 tolls an-
nually as rental for use of lands be-
longing to the Government of the
United States.

.\ctual construction work began in
Julv, 1914, the same year and time
that the Great War started. The pol-
icy adopted was to build that part first
which would bring a quick return on
the investment. That means the 100,-
000 h.p. Moccasin Power Plant which



Four of the men tuhose brains and toil have made Hetch Hetchy a reality. Left to right:
L. A. McAtee, A. J. Wehner, L. T. McAfee and H. E. Meyer.

has been producing power since 1925.
The present need for water in San
Francisco may be met by the resources
of the Alameda Creek properties for
a period of three years. However, as
the bay crossing pipes were inadequate
to carry the additional water from
Alameda County, San Francisco built
the Bay Division portion of the Hetch
Hetchy aqueduct, twenty-two miles
long, costing $6,000,000 (completed in
May, 1926), and uses it to carry addi-
tional water from the Alameda Creek
system. Note that the two ends of the
project are completed (1) to bring an
income from power from the moun-
tain end while the remainder is being
built, and (2) to avoid local water
shortage in San Francisco resulting
from inadequate Spring Valley water
pipes across the bay.

Water for San Francisco

Since 1858 water has been supplied
to San Francisco by the Spring Val-
ley Water Company. In 1922 the city
secured an option to purchase all the
company's properties, including over
62,000 acres, also all dams, pipes, res-
ervoirs and services, during a period
expiring in 1933, for $37,000,000 plus
any capital extensions made to the sys-
tem. This purchase was approved by
a popular vote of over four to one on
May 1, 1928, with over 100,000 votes
cast. The city of San Francisco as-
sumed possession of Spring Valley on
March 3, 1930, for a consideration of
approximately $40,000,000.

Now to give you a general idea of
the Hetch Hetchy project :

There are now two main storage

reservoirs completed, Hetch Hetchy
Lake with 67 billion gallons, 3700 feet
above the sea, and Lake Eleanor, four
miles northwest from Hetch Hetchy,
with 8 billion gallons, 4660 feet above
the sea, draining a distinctly separate
watershed. The outlet from Eleanor
is Cherry River, tributary to the Tuol-
umne River, with which it unites at a
point about 13 miles below Hetch
Hetchy. At Early Intake, on the
Tuolumne River, 2326 feet elevation,
12 miles below O'Shaughnessy Dam,
we have made the entrance to our 10
ft. 3 in. diameter tunnel aqueduct.

Twenty-Mile Tunnel

This tunnel, twenty miles long, with
a fall of 8 feet per mile, carries 470
million gallons of water daily. From
Priest Reservoir, at the end of this
first tunnel, this water drops 1316 feet
vertically, through four penstock pipes
to Moccasin Power House at 926 feet
elevation, to rotate eight giant water
wheels and produce 1 1-3 million kilo-
watt-hours of energy each day. Be-
low the power house the water is
again caught by a dam, the sixth on
the system, to continue its way in a
16-mile tunnel through the foothills,
with inlet elevation 888 feet, to the
eastern edge of the San Joaquin Val-
ley, about three miles southeast of
Knights Ferry.

Line Crosses Valley

It crosses that valley for 47 miles
in a steel pipe, to Tesla Portal, seven
miles south of Tracy, through the hills
in Alameda Countv bv 29 miles of

This splendid body of -water -was created by the erection of the O'Shaughnessy Dam and although man-made is not surpassed in beauty

and surroundings. A vjonder spot in California.



tunnel, terminating; at Irvington. acruss
San Francisco Bay by submarine pipe
and bridge at Duml)arton Strait, and
then by pipe and tunnel into Crystal
Springs Reservoir just outside the city,
delivering water at 290 feet above the
sea. Thus you have all gravity flow
from two reservoirs in the high Sierra
through tunnels, power house and pi])c
line into the lakes in San Mateo
County now used for storage of San
Francisco water. The whole length
is 167 miles from Hetch Hetchy, 12
miles Tuolumne River bed, 85 miles
tunnels (everlasting, and maintaining
the purity of the water), and 70 miles
of pressure pipes.

Dam Forms Reservoir

Hetch Hetchy Reser\'oir is formed
by the O'Shaughnessy Dam and the
Tuolumne River. The valley orig-
inally had a flat, sandy floor, the river
winding across it, and contained scat-
tered groups of trees which were re-
moved. It was at one time occupied
by a huge glacier which carried large
boulders and deposited them in the
neck where the dam is now built. The
falls on the left are called Tueeulala,
and those on the right Wapama. The
tall cliff between them is El Capitan
Jr. The high peak on the south side
is Kolana Rock. One can see how the
shape of the valley makes it an ideal
reser\'oir: (1) Because the bottom is
flat, and (2) because the walls are
steep and inaccessible for travelers.
The greatest width is two-thirds of a
mile, this main part being 1^ miles
long, and the total length 7 miles (very
narrow above Kolana Rock). Future
addition to the height of the dam will
make this lake 310 feet deep. _ The
present reservoir when full is 225 feet
deep and holds as much water as San
Francisco uses in four years, and this
can all be caught here each flood sea-
son in two weeks.

Largest of Six Dams

O'Shaughnessy Dam is the largest
of the six dams now completed, with
398,000 cubic yards of concrete. It is
called a gravity-arch type. It is one
of the six largest dams in the world.
Gravity pull on the great mass and
width of the base is enough to resist
all push by water on the upstream
side. The quantity of concrete used
would be sufficient to build a concrete
highway of usual dimensions from
Hetch Hetchy to San Francisco — 170
miles. It required 3^/2 years to build,
Jind cost nearly 87,000,000. Excava-
tion for a firm foundation extended a
maximum of 118 feet through boul-
ders and gravel below streambed.

Jamestown, Calif., May 13, 1930.

Mr. M. M. O'Shaughnessy,
("hief Engineer,

City and County of San Francisco,
City Hall, San Francisco.

Dear Sir :

We have just been apprised of the intention of the San Francisco
IMfNiciPAL Record to feature an appreciation of the wonderful part
taken by Lloyd Tevis McAfee in the development of the Hetch Hetchy
Water Supply Project, and as a representative of the Sierra Railway
Company I cannot refrain from adding my word to the testimony of

Intimately as we were connected with this magnificent project we
feel that we too have a right to voice our appreciation for the able, effi-
cient and faithful work of all those connected with the Hetch Hetchy
Water Supply Project and to say very frankly that Mr. McAfee stands
out as one of the first magnitude among these captains under your

I personally am exceedingly gratified that Mr. McAfee has been
rewarded by this well deserved promotion and wish him every success
in his new position.

\'ery truly yours,

W. H. Xewell.
Chief Engineer and Ass't General Manager.

Only One Dam Higher

There are 227 feet above streambed
total height of 345 feet. Only one
dam in this countr\' is higher — Arrow-
rock Dam, Idaho, 10 feet more in total
height. Here is a point to note: This
foundation is now built and extended
80 feet down stream below the toe of
the dam to carry the ultimate dam,
which will be 85 feet taller and hold
348,000 acre-feet or 113 billion gallons
of water. The two ends are thinner
than the center section. When water
demands of the city require more stor-
age capacity here, those ends will be
thickened to equal the center and 85
feet of height added to the crest. That
will add 70 per cent to the lake ca-

It is interesting to note what was
done to by-pass the stream while
building the dam. A tunnel 1000 feet
long was driven in the rock on the
south side of the channel. It is 2i
feet wide by 25 feet in height — once
and one-half the size of Twin Peaks
Tunnel — and remains with three valves
in it as the lowest outlet through the

There are nine other outlets through
the dam ; six are five-foot conduits
containing balanced valves in the thick
center section. They are used to dis-
charge water from the lake through
the drv season as it is needed for the
city. There are five expansion joints
fitted with copper plate water stops to

obviate temperature stresses, in the
length of the dam.

The dam at Lake Eleanor will also
be built over 150 feet higher, of rock
fill, when the proper time comes. Al-
though all materials and supplies had
to be hauled in trucks over difficult
roads 12 miles across the mountains
from Hetch Hetchy, the present struc-
ture was built by the city's engineers
in the remarkably short time of nine
months. It is 1200 feet long by 70
feet high, with 20 concrete arches, and
cost about $300,000.

So much on storage reservoirs.

Aqueduct Maintains Purity

The aqueduct — the greatest expense
on the project — will maintain the ex-
traordinary purity of Hetch Hetchy
water by carrying it inclosed by tun-
nels and pipe all the wa}- — no open
ditches. As it leaves the mountain
reservoirs the water is satisfactory for
automobile storage batteries.

Does any one want to guess how
much it costs per linear foot to drive
a tunnel through the solid granite? It
has to be drilled by punching 40 drill
holes into the granite every 10 feet of
length and blasted, using $7 worth of
powder to each lineal foot, to a 12-
foot section, and then lined with six
inches of concrete. The cost runs
from $68 to $82 per foot. There are
85 miles of tunnels planned — not all as
expensive, however.




Moccasin Power Plant

A word in regard to the big power
plant now completed at Moccasin, 34
miles below Hetch Hetchy. Priest
Dam, 145 feet high, was built to make
a regulating reservoir of one billion
gallons capacity. The power house
contains four generators driven by
eight 12 ft. 4 in. water wheels, of
100,000 h.p. total capacity. To get
water to these wheels two 9-foot pipes
branch successively into four 5^-foot
pipes and finally into eight 3- foot pipes
of heavy welded steel. Since August
21, 1925, this plant has produced elec-
tric energy worth $2,300,000 whole-
sale each year. Power sales passed the
$10,000,000 mark in March, 1930.

Have you ever thought of the great
amount of preliminary work and ex-
pense on a project like this?

Transportation — A 68-mile stand-
ard gauge railroad was built and
equipped at a cost of $3,000,000. Also
wagon roads — many miles of them.
A sawmill, built by the city, furnished
millions of feet of lumber used for
tunnel work, railroad and buildings.
A construction power plant using
water from Lake Eleanor and Cherry
River supplied all electric energy

needed in the mountain work for air
compressors, lights, fans, etc. Sur-
plus energy from this plant has been
sold through a power company, bring-
ing a total income to date of over

By the end of 1929 all units of the
work had been completed except the
Coast Range tunnel and the San Joa-
quin Valley pipe line. It is expected
that these will be completed in 1932.

Coast Range Tunnel

The Coast Range tunnel is 28.6
miles long. It extends from Tesla
Portal, 7 miles south of Tracy, to
Irvington Portal, near the town of Ir-
vington. At present (March, 1930)
1200 men are employed in this con-
struction and ten miles of tunnel have
been driven. Five shafts, two of them
over 800 feet deep, were sunk to facili-
tate the work and tunneling is carried
on in both directions from the bottom
of each shaft, and from four portals,
or from 14 working faces in all.

Construction of the San Joaquin
pipe line will be begun when the tun-
nel work is a little further advanced,
so that these two units may be com-
pleted simultaneously.

Comparison With Los Angeles

Compared to the Los Angeles water
supply, the Hetch Hetchy water proj-
ect will deliver 470 million gallons
daily to their 275 million gallons daily,
and more electric power. It has twice
the mileage of tunnel, no open canal,
more permanent dams, and more ca-
pacity. The water at Hetch Hetchy
Lake is seven times the present stor-
age of Los Angeles. Since the Los
Angeles system was built labor cost
jumped from $2.50 to $4.50 per day;
powder jumped 300 per cent; interest
on bonds from 4^ per cent to 5yi
per cent. Los Angeles is now propos-
ing to spend $250,000,000 more to
bring additional water from the Colo-
rado River and $40,000,000 for fur-
ther development around Mono Lake.

The Hetch Hetchy work has been
financed from four bond issues : $600,-
000 in 1909, $45,000,000 in 1910,
$10,000,000 in 1924, and $24,000,000
in 1928— a total of $79,600,000.

The project has been characterized
by especially careful plans and by
first-class engineering construction.




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Inaugurating New Service of Air Ferries, Ltd*,
Between San Francisco and Vallejo

upper picture, left to right: Joseph J. Tynan, Jr., President, Air Ferries, Ltd.; Mayor James Rolph, Jr., of San Francisco; James Rolph,

III Director, Air Ferries, Ltd.; Mayor Fred Heegter of Vallejo, and Rear .Jdmiral G. /F. Laws, Commandant of Mare Island.

Lower picture: First amphibian airplane of Air Ferries, Ltd., to arrive in Vallejo from San Francisco.

WITH a big civic celebration at
Vallejo in which Mayor James
Rolph Jr. and other San Francisco of-
ficials took part, the newest service of
Air Ferries, Ltd., was put into opera-
tion March 26.

The first scheduled flight between
Vallejo and San Francisco carried
Mayor Rolph and Mayor Fred Heeg-
ler of Vallejo as passengers. It brought
the north bay district within fifteen
minutes of the Ferry Building, or as
close as the San Francisco City Hall.
In the same plane were Joseph J.
Tynan Jr., persident of Air Ferries,
Ltd., and James Rolph III, a director
of the company, who have been re-
sponsible for the introduction of San
Francisco Bay's newest and fastest
transportation system.

Air Ferries, Ltd., started operation
of a fleet of amphibian planes between
San Francisco and Oakland on Feb-
ruary 1, 1930. By March 30, one day
short of two months of operation,
20,000 passengers had been carried
across the bay, almost as many as were
carried in the same period last year on
all of the air transport lines of the
United States combined.

Service to Be Extended

Air Ferries, Ltd., now has four
planes, and as fast as additional planes
are delivered, service will be extended
to Sacramento, Stockton, Sausalito,
Richmond, Alameda and San Rafael.
Terminal sites in most of these cities
already have been secured.

The company was organized by a
group of San Francisco bay district
leaders who saw the necessity for a
practical, rapid means of transporta-
tion between the many prosperous
communities around San Francisco
Bay. They saw that while traveling
time from San Francisco to Los An-
geles, 400 miles apart, shrank to three
hours by air two years ago, it still took
nearly two hours to reach Valleja,
only 22 miles distant.

This was due, of course, to the com-
paratively long distances of the air-
ports from the centers of the cities.
To travel to an airport and take a
plane to Vallejo would take as long as
the ordinary method of travel.

Air Ferries have overcome this han-
dicap by turning the waters of San




Francisco Bay into natural landing
fields. The San Francisco terminal at
Pier 5 is adjacent to the Ferry Build-
ing, and the Oakland and Vallejo ter-
minals are as conveniently located for
the use of air travelers.

The directorate of Air Ferries, Ltd.,
is headed by J. J. Tynan Jr., as presi-
dent, and on the board are James
Rolph III, Marshal Hale, Harry S.
Scott, Harrison Robinson. Courtney

L. Moore, Ted Huggins and Vern

Civic, business and social leaders
turned out for the ceremonies attend-
ing the opening of both the Oakland
and \'alIejo services. Mayor Roljjh
assisted Mrs. Joseph J. Tynan Jr. in
christening the Stanford, first of the
Air Ferries fleet. Mrs. Joseph J. Ty-
nan Sr. christened the California,
Mrs. John Dunbar, daughter of James

Dyer, vice-president of the Southern
Pacific Company, christened the St.
Mary's, and Mrs. James Kolph III
christened the Santa Clara.

Mayor Rolph, in opening the Val-
lejo service, told a group of 200 Val-
lejo and north bay leaders that the
new air ferry service was a further
step in cementing the bond of friend-

Online LibrarySan Francisco (Calif.). Board of SupervisorsThe municipal employee (Volume v.3 (Jan. - Sept. 1929)) → online text (page 54 of 84)