When ARB Inc. project manager Paul Gallagher worked the Los Osos sewer installation in 2007, he felt the community wasn’t ready to complete the job. Now in 2014, his crew feels wanted.
“People have been great,” he said. “We’ve befriended neighbors. The guys have even moved furniture. Access is the big deal. We’ve worked together to accommodate people, especially those with wheelchairs and special needs.”
Celebrate Los Osos, a community volunteer organization, has coordinated contributors for a free community celebration from 4 to 6 p.m. March 25 at the Red Barn, 2180 Palisades Ave. The event flier states, “Come out and tell the construction workers how much you appreciate the job they’ve done in our community.” There will be free hot dogs, music and a chance to meet the workers. Learn more about what the group does at www.CelebrateLosOsos.org.
Gallagher anticipates that the pipeline installation and road repairs will be completed within a month, weather permitting. ARB hired employees from the local area, as well as from Los Angeles. Fifty to 100 workers have been on the job for two years.
ARB also hired local contractors and vendors including R Burke Corp. of San Luis Obispo, Papich Construction Co. of Arroyo Grande, BP General Engineering & Ed’s Excavating of Los Osos, Myers Foundation Drilling of Morro Bay, CalPortland Co. of San Luis Obispo, Hanson Aggregates of San Luis Obispo and Electricraft Inc. of San Luis Obispo.
Los Osan Barbara Rosenthal has waited 30 years for the sewer completion.
“What I wasn’t prepared for was how interesting the construction process would be. The workers on my street worked long and hard. Like a number of people I have talked with, we made lemonade and cookies to keep the workers going, then just tried to stay out of their way,” she said.
Pandora Nash Karner served on the Los Osos CSD and has supported the project.
“The construction has been remarkable,” she said. “Driving, we’d add a bit of time in case of delays or alternative routes. Sometimes it was like a treasure hunt, but the workers were always helpful in pointing the way. They would notify us a day ahead that we’d have to park outside of the construction zone and walk in.”
Celebrate Los Osos member Mimi Kalland added, “We are on a dead-end street. They installed a giant pump that took weeks. But they never blocked the street so we couldn’t get in. They were all cheerful and patient (and) spent time telling us what they were doing. The variety of machinery — from tiny scoopers to gigantic asphalt shredders — was phenomenal. We stood around with our neighbors goggle-eyed.”
Gallagher said his crew was the “best ever” — family men who felt Los Osos was “a phenomenal place to work.” He praised the cooperation ARB had from Cal Fire, PG&E, RTA and the Sheriff’s Office.
“Normally it’s tough, but it’s been a unique relationship,” he said.
Judy Salamachas column is special to The Tribune. Reach her at email@example.com or 801-1422.