Texan water conveyance tunnel requires TBM

A water conveyance tunnel with difficult ground conditions welcomed the versatility of using a tunnel boring machine (TBM).

BRH-Garver Construction LP was contracted to pipejack a 75-year-old pipeline used to convey treated water from the Canal Water Treatment Plant (WTP) for El Paso Water in El Paso, Texas.

The water lines on the WTP’s main tunnel travelled under a highway and were in close proximity to the river, creating the likelihood of contaminated ground conditions and obstructions from existing utilities.

An Akkerman TBM pipe jacking system was chosen over a microtunnelling system due to its cost-effectiveness and its abilities to work through versatile terrains and obstacles.

BRH-Garver’s J. Breff Cooling said the versatility of the Akkerman TBM with its hydraulically-operated doors provided options that a microtunnelling system could not.  

“With the benefit of hindsight, we can say that the TBM turned out to be the better choice in this case because we ended up discovering unforeseen boulders,” said Mr Cooling.

The WTP main tunnel project was designed by a partnership between CDM Smith and Parkhill, Smith & Cooper, which also provided site supervision and contract administration.

Tunnelling technical support, oversight and settlement monitoring was performed by Killduff Underground Engineering.

For more information visit the Akkerman website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless International contact Managing Editor Chloe Jenkins at cjenkins@gs-press.com.au 

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