July 1, 2016

MDC awards $279.4M tunnel project

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
This graphic shows how the tunnel-boring machine will convey extracted rock (top of machine) on a conveyor out of the tunnel and also shows the pipe the machine will place behind it to line the tunnel. (Above right) This graphic shows the geology the tunnel-boring machine will encounter on its dig under south Hartford and West Hartford. The machine will bore through basalt, shale and siltstone and several inactive faults.

As part of its Clean Water Project, the Metropolitan District (MDC) awarded a contract to construct the South Hartford Conveyance and Storage Tunnel (SHCST) to Kenny / Obayashi, a joint venture of two companies with extensive experience in tunnel construction.

The Kenny / Obayashi joint venture was the low bidder for the SHCST with an amount of $279.4 million, the largest contract ever awarded by the MDC, as well as the largest project ever funded by the state of Connecticut's Clean Water Fund.

The SHCST is a four-mile-long deep rock tunnel designed to temporarily store excess combined wastewater and stormwater during rain events, and then convey the flows to the Hartford Water Pollution Control Facility for treatment. The tunnel's capacity of 41.5 million gallons will help prevent the facility from being overwhelmed during storms.

The 18-foot-diameter tunnel will be built in bedrock approximately 200 feet below ground, effectively eliminating surface disruption during construction.

Preliminary construction is scheduled to start in fall of 2016, with the tunnel-boring machine scheduled to arrive in the fall of 2017. Tunnel boring operations will begin near the MDC's water control facility on Brainard Road and continue through southern Hartford into West Hartford, ending on Talcott Road. The tunnel is projected to be complete and in operation by 2023.

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