Black & Veatch to Oversee Construction of Seven St. Louis Sewer Tunnels

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) selected a Black & Veatch-led team to manage the construction of more than $500 million in future tunnel projects. The tunnels are a significant part of the MSD’s Project Clear – a long-term, multi-billion dollar effort to address sewer overflows and basement backups throughout the St. Louis area.

“Black & Veatch brings resources and experience from tunneling projects around the world, as well as in the Midwest, that are designed to reduce combined sewer overflows,” said MSD’s Marie Collins, Assistant Director of Engineering for  Construction Management. “This experience will benefit MSD and our rate payers.”

Black & Veatch is responsible for construction management of up to seven different tunnels across MSD’s service territory. These tunnels will range from 9 ft in diameter to more than 20 ft. The longest tunnel will be nearly 7 miles long. All tunnels will be approximately 150 to 250 ft below the surface. It will take approximately 15 to 20 years to complete all of the tunnels.

“Black & Veatch has a proven approach and successful track record regarding construction management of rock tunnels, particularly ones in karst formations such as the tunnels in progress for MSD,” said David Egger, Senior Vice President in Black & Veatch’s water business. “Deep tunnels provide a long-term solution for combined sewer overflows and sanitary sewer overflows in a manner that preserves community aesthetics and property values. Although each present major engineering and construction challenges, Black & Veatch has been successful at mitigating risks for our clients and keeping projects on schedule.”

In addition to providing construction management services, Black & Veatch also will assist with other aspects of the project, including project controls, management of multiple contractors and community/agency involvement. Project work will begin in December 2013 and initial construction is expected to begin by early 2015.

Black & Veatch is teamed with URS and several local minority-owned and women-owned businesses to support the large number of projects associated with the MSD tunneling program. Kwame Building Group is the lead minority-owned firm for the project. EPC, a minority-owned construction management firm that specializes in tunneling, also will provide resources as needed. Other team members include TSi and Lion CSG.

Black & Veatch has completed or is currently involved in dozens of deep tunnels worldwide that are designed to reduce or eliminate combined sewer overflows and/or sanitary sewer overflows. Midwest-based projects include: Chicago’s McCook Reservoir Main Tunnel (part of the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan, or TARP); Indianapolis Deep Tunnel CSO extension along the White River and Fall Creek; Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati’s Lower Mill Creek Tunnel; Columbus, Ohio, Department of Public Utilities’ Olentangy Augmentation Relief Sewer (OARS); and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewer District’s Northwest Side Relief Sewer. Black & Veatch is also involved in or has completed several deep tunnel projects that convey drinking water to and/or throughout major metropolitan areas. These projects include: New York City’s Tunnel No. 3 project; Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission’s Bi-County Water Tunnel; and City of Austin, Texas.

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