Four Years After Pipeline Explosion, San Bruno Neighborhood Still Rebuilding
SAN BRUNO (CBS SF) — Four years after a pipeline explosion tore through San Bruno’s Crestmoor neighborhood, the area is still rebuilding.
The potential for even more construction has neighbors nearing the point of exhaustion.
“It absolutely was a traumatic experience,” said Dr. Debra Marks, a psychologist and San Bruno resident. “I was home at the time of the explosion. The ground shaking, the house moving.”
Marks lived through the blast and now she and her neighbors are living through some serious construction fatigue.
“We are all — and I think I can speak for everyone there — very tired of what’s gone on because it’s not over,” she said.
There are still about 10 vacant lots yet to be rebuilt and the roads are a mess.
“It’s never gonna end,” said San Bruno resident Maria Orrante. “It’ll never end.”
The major infrastructure work beneath the roads will likely go on for at least another year.
“Right now, I think everyone is learning to deal with it,” Orrante said.
There could be even more construction on the horizon. A proposed development, just two blocks away from the blast site, would replace a church with more than two dozen homes.
“You can’t imagine that,” Orrante said. “Up there — in that little spot? You can’t imagine it.”
But while that development is just a proposal, neighbors say all the noise and house-shaking construction work builds on painful memories.
“Everything that goes on in the neighborhood can be a potential trigger for that original trauma,” Marks said. “It would be real nice to have a break, a pause, before any more construction or development occurs.”
Four years after the explosion, the Crestmoor neighborhood is still rebuilding and trying to find a way past a disaster that will never go away.
“Like my dad said, it’s progress,” Orrante said. “What are you going to do? You have to keep living — and go around it. That’s what we’re going to have to do.”
On Wednesday, KPIX 5 spoke off camera with the mayor and city manager of San Bruno. They say the proposal is still in the very early stages — so early that they can’t yet comment on it.
But they did say they everything will be taken into consideration before anything is approved.