In this week's news, a Robbins crossover tunnel boring machine is the first crossover TBM to be used in the U.S. and will be working on an interceptor tunnel project in Ohio; and the Rover pipeline setbacks continue


A Robbins crossover tunnel-boring machine (TBM) measuring 30.4 feet in diameter is the first crossover TBM to be used in the U.S. The machine will be used on the construction of the Ohio Canal Interceptor Tunnel (OCIT) in Akron, Ohio.

The TBM, named “Rosie,” includes features of both earth pressure balance shield and hard rock single shield TBM types. It will be launched from a 40-foot-deep portal site and build the first 226 feet in soft ground, transitioning to a 600-foot-long zone of partial face shale before switching back to hard-rock mode the remainder of the drive in full face shale.

Unique aspects of the machine include a cutterhead that will be configured for both the short soft ground section and the longer section in hard rock. A combination of disc cutters and sacrificial rippers will be used in case a cutter becomes blocked. The required rolling torque of the disc cutters has been reduced by 25 percent to encourage smooth rotation in soft ground.

The OCIT Project consists of the construction of a conveyance and storage tunnel system to control combined sewer overflows for several regulators in the downtown Akron area. The EPA-mandated project includes the conveyance and storage tunnel, drop shafts, diversion structures, consolidation sewers, and related structures.

The consent decree says that the tunnel must be operational by Dec. 31, 2018.

Rover Pipeline Setbacks Continue

Developers of the Rover natural gas pipeline face growing public opposition and construction setbacks while installing the mainline in Ohio.

The $4.2 billion pipeline would carry shale gas from the Marcellus and Utica regions to a natural gas hub in western Ohio for eventual delivery into Michigan and Canada. In April, crews on the project spilled drilling fluids under the Tuscarawas River in Ohio. The presence of diesel in the fluids prompted the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to halt new construction while it investigated.

The project has also faced some construction setbacks as well. In Wayne County, Ohio, a sinkhole appeared during horizontal directional drilling for the project, leading crews to change the drilling method. Pipe also became lodged during drilling in Tuscarawas County.

The developer says additional workspaces were needed. FERC approved the additional space, but said it does not authorize excavation or pipeline installation within the additional space.


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