Blue Plains Tunnel Earns Honors


The Blue Plains Tunnel holing through (photo fromJames Wonneberg).

The DC Water Blue Plains Tunnel project was recently awarded the ENR 2016 Project of the Year Award in the Water/Environment Category in the Mid-Atlantic Region, according to McMillen Jacobs Associates. McMillen Jacobs Associates has played a crucial role in project.

The award will be presented at an awards presentation Nov. 1 in Baltimore and winning projects will be featured in the October 24 issue of ENR MidAtlantic.

Owner DC Water developed the awards submission, which highlighted numerous project aspects, including how project challenges were overcome, safety program success, innovation and contribution to the industry, and function/aesthetic quality of the design.

The Blue Plains Tunnel is the first tunnel delivered under DC Water’s Long-Term Control Plan (LTCP), and was procured under the design-build delivery method. Excavation proceeded through soft ground using “Lady Bird,” an earth pressure balance (EPB) tunnel boring machine. Tunneling began in April 2013 and concluded in July 2015. Nearly 50% of the 24,300-ft long, 26-ft diameter CSO tunnel runs under the Potomac and Anacostia rivers.

McMillen Jacobs Associates is an integral member of DC Water’s Program Consultants Organization (PCO), providing tunnel and geotechnical consulting, issuing preliminary design documents, and providing technical and engineering support services—including technical review of tunnel alignments, drop shaft configurations, shaft layout and design, and microtunneling/piping alternatives.

RELATED: Microtunnel Project Overcomes Macro Challenges DC Water’s First Street Tunnel

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