On Dec. 12, Hatch Mott MacDonald and its Canadian parent company Hatch received the Premier Project Award in the Engineering category at the Platts Global Energy Awards for its work on the Niagara Tunnel project. The award was presented at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
According to Platts, “The winner of the Premier Project Award in the Engineering category is ambitious not only in its dazzling scale, but also in its contribution towards achieving a larger goal.”
As Platts reported, “The Niagara Tunnel was safely completed in March 2013, nine months ahead of schedule and $100 million under its $1.6 billion budget. The tunnel will provide the province with a reliable, maintenance-free source of clean energy for the next 100 years. It is also a key element of what judges called Ontario Power’s ‘ambitious but attainable’ long-term energy plan including closure of the remaining three coal-fired generating stations.”
Platts noted the “many logistical hurdles” on the project: “All underground work had to be accessed from a single entrance at the outlet end of the tunnel, so all tunnel operational equipment had to be designed to allow traffic to pass to and from the TBM. Concrete was at times pumped 1.4 km, requiring very precise mix design and quality control. And because the excavation proceeded from the outlet end of the water conveyance to the intake end, which is located immediately below the International Niagara Control Structure in the upper Niagara River, about 2 km upstream of the Horseshoe Falls, preventative measures had to be taken to prevent potentially serious groundwater inflow during TBM excavation.