When the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) embarked on an ambitious streetcar project in Santa Ana, replacing and upgrading underground utilities along the route would be an essential component of the endeavor. 

With Mission Clay Products’ long history of supplying quality vitrified clay pipe (VCP), they were selected to provide the goods that would get the job done.

The $408 million project broke ground in November of last year with expected testing and operation of the new OC Streetcar scheduled to begin in 2022.

When it begins running, the OC Streetcar will link the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center (SARTC), which provides Amtrak, regional rail, OCTA bus, and intercity and international bus services, to a new multimodal hub at Harbor Boulevard/Westminster Avenue in Garden Grove. Along the way, the streetcar will connect directly with 18 OCTA bus routes. The streetcar will serve downtown Santa Ana and the Civic Center. The streetcar will increase transportation options and provide greater access along its route along Santa Ana Boulevard, 4th Street, and the Pacific Electric right-of-way to Harbor Boulevard in Garden Grove.

Contractor SRK Engineering of San Diego was low bidder for the sewer line installation portion of the project, working as a subcontractor for the general contractor Walsh Construction. Project Engineer for SRK Engineering is Jacob Scheidel, and Sales Manager for Mission Clay is Garrett Richardson.

The scope of the sewer work includes the removal, replacement and upgrade of existing sewers underneath the alignment of the future streetcar rails. The sewer lines are being installed at varying depths ranging from 12 to 20 feet depending on pipe size and location along the planned 4.15 mile public transit line’s route.

Mission Clay began delivering approximately $200,000 in sewer pipe in July this year. Their supply contract calls for approximately 3,500 lineal feet of 8, 12, 18, 21, and 24 inch VCP, along with 4 inch and 6 inch pipe for lateral connections.

The pipe, manufactured in Mission Clay’s factories in Phoenix, Arizona and Corona, California, is time-tested and proven as the longest lasting and most sustainable sewer material. In fact, Sales Manager Garrett Richardson explained that large agencies like Orange County, the City and County of Los Angeles, and many others specify VCP because of its guaranteed 100 year (minimum) service life. Mission Clay and other VCP manufacturers enhance their product by pairing the durability of vitrified clay pipe with modern urethane compression joints, delivering joint seals that meet the toughest standards of any gravity pipe material.

Mission Clay has supplied vitrified clay gravity sewer pipe and related products to the underground construction industry since 1950. Mission Clay was founded by Ben Garrett, a former plumbing contractor in San Pedro, and the company remains a family business to this day. The company manufactures its products exclusively in the U.S.A. with locally sourced raw materials. Mission Clay has been a member of ECAsince 1989 and Southern California Sales Manager Garrett Richardson has served on ECA’s board of directors since 2008. D


By John Simpson, ECA Editor – [email protected]