News Briefs: Ohio City Undertakes Its 'Largest Construction Project Ever'

In this week's news, Akron, Ohio is undertaking its largest construction project to date, a trenching accident in Las Vegas led to a worker's death, Bertha is undergoing testing to resume digging in December and a Wisconsin-based contractor celebrates a safety milestone
News Briefs: Ohio City Undertakes Its 'Largest Construction Project Ever'

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The City of Akron, Ohio, will take on what it describes as the city’s largest construction project ever — a three-story high, mile-long tunnel that will be bored 160 feet underneath its downtown area.

The four-year-long, $190 million project is part of an EPA mandate to help manage sewer overflows from torrential rainfall. Before the project kicks off, however, it will take one year to construct the massive boring machine to be used for the tunneling project.

Once completed, the tunnel will hold more than 25 million gallons of stormwater until it can be treated and released safely into local streams.

Las Vegas trenching accident leads to worker’s death

A construction worker was killed in a trenching accident Oct. 21, crushed by a trenching machine while working in the trench.

Though no specific project or location of the accident was given, there is a media report that the accident took place near a Las Vegas residential construction area.

The Las Vegas Police Department and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are conducting an investigation.

Bertha undergoing testing to see if ready for tunneling

Project contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP) are running tests to determine if Bertha, the massive tunnel boring machine working in Seattle, is ready to continue the tunnel project that will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct in downtown Seattle.

Tests are being performed on various pumps inside the machine and the screw conveyor system that carries excavated material from the cutter head to the back of the machine and out the tunnel.

Bertha broke down after excavating only 11 percent of the 1.7-mile-long tunnel in December 2013. The project was scheduled to continue Nov. 23 after repairs on the machine had been made, but in October STP announced the tunneling would be delayed another month, resuming Dec. 23.

Michels Celebrates Reaching Safety Milestone

Michels earned the WPS Safety Excellence Awards in recognition 300,000 man-hours worked without a recordable safety incident on a project in northern Wisconsin.

Michels crews put in 100,000 man-hours installing 200 miles of new cable and removing 200 miles of old cable for the WPS System Modernization Reliability Project (SMRP). SMRP began in 2014 and will reduce power outages caused by ice, snow and windstorms by burying power lines underground in several communities.

Techniques used to install underground cable included directional boring, trenching and plowing. In addition, Michels crews placed and terminated junction boxes, transformers and switching equipment; performed system cutover work; removed existing overhead lines; and terminated cable when it was tied into existing energized underground residential distribution equipment.

TRIC Tools Joins in Northern California Pipe Users Group Meeting

Trenchless pipe bursting manufacturer TRIC Tools participated in its first Northern California Pipe Users Group (PUG) meeting Nov. 10, which was hosted by Brown & Caldwell with approximately 35 in attendance.

PUG is a forum of collection system owners, engineers and industry professionals committed to trenchless technologies – discussing rehabilitation options and methods, improving design, construction and operation of sewer and water systems, and working together by sharing resources. 


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