Los Angeles

California High-Speed Rail
The California High-Speed Rail Authority is building a rail link from Los Angeles to San Francisco that will allow passengers to complete the journey in just 2 hours and 40 minutes. Work is currently underway in the Central Valley.

Tunnels will be required in the north across the California Coast Range between Gilroy and Merced; and in the south in the Tehachapi Mountains between Bakersfield and Palmdale, and the San Gabriel Mountains between Palmdale and Burbank.

The alignments currently under consideration involve between 45 to 50 miles of tunnels that range in length from several thousand feet to over 20 miles, some of which are over 2,000 ft underground. The target revenue service date for the Bakersfield to San Francisco segment is 2029, according to the Authority’s Draft 2018 Business Plan.

As part of the effort to advance the Silicon Valley to Central Valley Line of the program, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority), along with its geotechnical consultants Kleinfelder Inc. and Fugro Consultants, have conducted geotechnical explorations in the City of San Jose and Santa Clara County.
WSP is serving as the Authority’s Rail Delivery Partner (RDP).

Los Angeles

Clearwater Program Effluent Outfall
The Clearwater Program’s Joint Water Pollution Control Plant (JWPCP) Effluent Outfall Tunnel Project is part of an extensive effort by the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County to analyze the needs of its Joint Outfall System to the year 2050. The Effluent Outfall Tunnel is envisioned to enhance the existing 8- and 12-ft tunnels with a new 37,000-lf, 18-ft ID post-tensioned concrete segmented lined tunnel. All tunneling work will be done from a single shaft located at the Districts’ JWPCP located in the City of Carson. Structures located at the start and end of the tunnel will connect to the existing Ocean Outfall System facilities.

Bids were submitted in October with final award scheduled for Dec. 12. Dragados USA submitted a bid of $630,500,000, just under FCC Southland Mole JV’s bid of $630,860,959. Other bids included Lane Obayashi JV ($653,000,000), Skanska Kenny JV ($655,997,000) and Frontier-Kemper Michels JV ($665,700,000).

Construction was anticipated to start Q1 2019.


Mountain Tunnel Improvements
This project for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) involves 11 miles of rehabilitation of the 10-ft diameter, concrete-lined, horseshoe tunnel, which was completed in 1925. The project designer is McMillen Jacobs Associates (MJA) with AECOM as environmental consultant. Project design and environmental review has commenced, and both phases are anticipated to be completed at the end of 2019. Construction bidding is anticipated in late 2019 with construction scheduled for 2020 through 2026. The estimated cost is $130-140 million.


Interlake Tunnel
The Interlake Tunnel for the Monterey County Water Resources Agency comprises an 11,000-ft long, 10-ft diameter, gravity-flow tunnel and related structures that would divert water from Lake Nacimiento (Nacimiemto Reservoir) to Lake San Antonio (San Antonio Reservoir). The engineering firm COWI North America has been hired by the agency as Program Manager for the project. McMillen Jacobs Associates and GEI Inc. have been retained for preliminary engineering and design services for the projects. Design is 60 percent complete as of January 2019. Design-build SOQ is scheduled for Q3 2019. Construction is scheduled to begin in Q2 2020. The estimated project cost including the tunnel and spillway modification is approximately $119 million.


California Water Fix
The California Water Fix Program is a comprehensive effort to improve water conveyance in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region. Key components of the program include a series of water conveyance tunnels that will allow for transport of up to 9,000 cfs of water directly from the Sacramento River to the major export pumping plants in the south end of the Delta. The program consists of three river intake structures, approximately 10 miles of 29-ft and 40-ft ID tunnels, and approximately 60 miles of 40-ft ID main conveyance tunnels, and a 9,000 cfs pumping facility located at the terminus of the main tunnels. The main conveyance tunnels will be configured in a parallel twin bore arrangement, with tunnel invert depth of averaging approximately 150 ft below ground surface. In addition to launching and receiving shafts, a series of ventilation/access shafts will be constructed along each tunnel reach. Current conceptual engineering efforts have been completed. Tunnel design is anticipated to commence in mid-2019 with the first tunnel contracts being advertised for construction bids in mid/late-2020. Subsequent tunnel construction packages will be advertised on approximate 6-month intervals following the first contract award. Approximately five to six tunnel construction contracts will be awarded under this program. It is currently anticipated the facilities will be operational by 2033.

San Jose

BART Silicon Valley Extension
On June 4 the Federal Transit Administration issued a Record of Decision for the $4.7 billion, 6-mile BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension into downtown San Jose. Five miles of the extension are planned to be underground, constructed by a single, large-bore TBM on the order of 45-ft in diameter. The extension includes four stations (three underground). The overall project is a 16-mile extension of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system in the San Francisco Bay area. Cost estimates are in the range of $5 billion. Project construction is planned to start by 2021 with passenger service by 2026. A joint venture of HNTB and WSP agreed to a four-year, $88.3 million program management contract with the owner, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA).



Potomac River Tunnel Project
The Potomac River Tunnel is a component of DC Water’s long-term control plan (LTCP), also known as the DC Clean Rivers Project. The Consent Decree establishes schedules for construction of the Potomac River Tunnel and other CSO control facilities under the DC Clean Rivers Project, including a 2025 deadline to implement the project in its entirety. The Potomac River Tunnel will be located approximately 100 ft below ground. CSOs captured by the Potomac River Tunnel would be conveyed to the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant.



B&P Tunnel
The B&P Tunnel is a planned replacement of the existing B&P Tunnel, which is an integral portion of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. The new tunnel would replace the low speed, two-track brick arch tunnel, built in the 1870s with four, new single bore, high speed tunnels. The estimated construction cost is $5 billion, with a construction duration of a decade. The project is on Amtrak’s priority list, along with four other mega-projects – thus awaiting funding.

The FRA and MDOT issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) in November 2016 and the Record of Decision (ROD) was released March 2017.



NE Corridor Superconducting Maglev
The Environmental Impact Statement for the first leg of the Northeast Corridor Superconducting Maglev project is underway with the Record of Decision anticipated in 2019. Construction is planned for 2020. The first leg comprises 60 km from Washington to Baltimore, 75 percent of the alignment in tunnel, and three underground stations (Washington, Baltimore and BWI Airport). The total cost is over $10 billion. TBM tunneling is anticipated as a single bore with guideways (outside tunnel diameter approximately 15m). Five or six TBMs are anticipated. Owner: TNEM/BWRR; Prime Consultant: Louis Berger; Tunneling subconsultant: Gall Zeidler.


St. Louis

Project Clear Tunnels
Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) has begun an ambitious program called Project Clear, a multi-billion dollar investment addressing wastewater overflows. The system improvements include construction of nine tunnels to control sewer overflows. Upcoming tunneling components of Project Clear include (Project, Construction Begin, Construction Cost Estimate, Tunnel Length, Tunnel Diameter):

  • Lower & Middle Des Peres Storage Tunnel, 2027, $670,000,000, 9 miles, 30 ft dia
  • Lower Meramec Tunnel, 2021, $225,000,000, 6.8 miles, 8 ft dia
  • River Des Peres Tributaries CSO Tunnel, 2028, $238,000,000, 16,300 ft, 17 ft dia
  • Upper River Des Peres CSO Storage Tunnel, 2032, $250,000,000, 10,900 ft, 22 ft dia


New York

Hudson Tunnel Project/Gateway
The Hudson Tunnel Project is a new two-track heavy rail tunnel along the Northeast Corridor from the Bergen Palisades in New Jersey to Manhattan that will directly serve Penn Station New York. It consists of three major elements: the Hudson Yards right-of-way preservation project, the Hudson Tunnel, and the rehabilitation and modernization of the existing North River tunnel.

A joint venture of WSP, AECOM and STV has been awarded the design contract. The tunnel portion of the contract, estimated at $12 billion to $13 billion, is envisioned to be a design-build contract including the Palisades Tunnel and Hudson Tunnel. Construction was expected to begin in 2019 but uncertainties regarding funding is impacting the schedule.

New York

Second Avenue Subway – Phase 2
Design is underway for the Phase 2 of the second Avenue Subway. A joint venture of WSP and STV is working on the design for the project that extends the line northward from 96th Street to 125th Street – a total of 1.5 miles with three new stations. The alignment will use some existing tunnels originally built in the 1970s, in addition to new soft-ground TBM tunnels. The cost estimate for this phase of the project is $6 billion, with revenue service anticipated between 2027 and 2029. MTA recently announced that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, issued a “Finding of No Significant Impact” (FONSI) regarding design changes from the original Environmental Impact Statement prepared in 2004.



NEORSD Project Clean Lake
Project Clean Lake for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) includes several major tunnel components to store and convey combined sewer overflows. The projects include:

  • Westerly Tunnel Dewatering Pump Station – A $28 million, 46-ft diameter, 200-ft deep submersible Pump Station will bid in 2019;
  • Shoreline Storage Tunnel – 15,300 lf of 21-ft diameter soft ground CSO tunnel. It is anticipated to bid in 2021;
  • Shoreline Consolidation Sewer – 11,700 lf of 9.5-ft diameter soft ground tunnel. It is anticipated to bid in 2021;
  • Southerly Storage Tunnel – 18,340 lf of 23-ft diameter CSO tunnel. It is anticipated to bid in 2024;
  • Big Creek Storage Tunnel – 22,400 lf of 18-ft diameter CSO tunnel. It is anticipated to bid in 2029.


Pawtucket/East Providence

Pawtucket Tunnel
The Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC) has begun conceptual design of the third and final phase of its Combined Sewer Overflow Program. Phase III includes the Pawtucket Tunnel, NBC’s second CSO storage tunnel. NBC completed the Providence Tunnel, a 16,500-ft long, 26-ft diameter CSO storage tunnel, in 2008 during Phase I of its CSO program.

The Pawtucket Tunnel will be approximately 13,000 ft long, 28 ft in diameter and located in bedrock about 200 ft below the ground surface. The contract to construct the Pawtucket Tunnel will include the launch and recovery shafts (which will become permanent access shafts), two to three drop shafts with connecting adits at existing outfall locations, and an underground shaft- or cavern-style tunnel pump station.

The launch shaft and tunnel pump station will be located at NBC’s Bucklin Point Wastewater Treatment Facility in East Providence, Rhode Island. The alignment will be parallel to the Seekonk River and Blackstone River, and end near the border of Pawtucket and Central Falls, Rhode Island. An 8,800-ft long, 10-ft diameter conveyance tunnel, which will connect to the Pawtucket Tunnel, is planned to begin after the Pawtucket Tunnel is completed. The program/construction manager for Phase III is Stantec and its teaming partner Pare Corporation. Construction of the Pawtucket Tunnel is anticipated to begin in late 2020 or early 2021.



Phase 2 Lake Travis Deep Water Intake
The Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority (BCRUA) has embarked on a multiple year program to increase capacity and manage concerns associated with recent historic low water levels of Lake Travis. The program includes: a multiple level-screen deep water intake assembly and shaft extending about 70-ft below lake bottom; approximately 10,000-ft of 96-in. diameter tunnel to convey water by gravity from the intake to a new on-shore pump station (with a subterranean forebay, multiple individual pump wells and a 30 ft diameter wetwell extending about 300 ft below grade); and 3,000-ft of 84-in. diameter pressurized transmission tunnel. Final design is anticipated to begin in 2019, and construction is anticipated to begin in 2021 or 2022. BCRUA is currently acquiring easements for the project.

San Antonio

SAWS W-6 Upper Segment

The San Antonio Water System (SAWS), a public utility owned by the City of San Antonio, Texas, is in the process of selecting a consultant for its W-6 Upper Segment: Hwy 90 to SW Military Drive Sewer Main Project. The design is currently at 30%.

The estimated $150 million project involves approximately 27,000 lf of 10-ft diameter tunnel to host the new 90-in. FRP gravity sewer pipe. The project also includes installation of about 2,300 lf of 60-in. gravity sewer pipe via open cut. The tunnel depth will vary along the alignment with depths of up to 130 ft. The project includes five launching/receiving shafts with additional smaller access shafts. Geotechnical data is being gathered as design proceeds.

This project is part of our compliance with the EPA Consent Decree. The depth and extent of tunneling is beyond that of past sewer projects at SAWS. SAWS invites capable tunnel contractors local, national, and international to submit proposals when the project is advertised in spring of 2020.

The goal is to complete 100% Contract Documents by February 2020, so SAWS can advertise in March 2020. The objective is to award the construction contract in June 2020. Estimated construction duration is a maximum of 36 months.



AlexRenew Tunnel
A joint plan prepared by Alexandria Renew Enterprises (AlexRenew) and the City of Alexandria outlining an approach to remediate a portion of Alexandria’s sewer system built in the late 1800s was been accepted by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The plan’s infrastructure includes construction of a deep tunnel system, approximately 2 miles long, and new sewer infrastructure to connect the tunnels to the existing sewer system.

Once completed, the new tunnel system will connect to the existing outfalls to prevent millions of gallons of sewage mixed with rainwater from reaching rivers and streams. AlexRenew, in a partnership with the City of Alexandria, will lead the planning, design, and implementation of the plan to remediate the outfalls by 2025.


Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel
The HRBT Expansion project will build another bridge-tunnel and widen the four-lane segments of I-64 in Hampton and Norfolk to ease daily congestion between the Peninsula and South Hampton Roads, a corridor vital to Virginia’s economy. The project owner, VDOT, announced that both short listed teams have opted to use the bored tunnel method as the basis for their proposals, which will be submitted in late 2018. The project cost is estimated between $3.3 and $3.8 billion, with contract award expected in early 2019.



Ship Canal Water Quality Project
Seattle Public Utilities is planning to build a tunnel jointly with King County to reduce the amount of combined sewer overflows into local waterways. Construction is expected to start the first half of 2019. The project includes a 2.7-mile long storage tunnel with a diameter of 18 ft, 10 in. excavated by PEB TBM 30 to 90 ft below grade. Estimated cost for the storage tunnel is $175 million to $225 million. The design-bid-build construction contract is scheduled to advertise in Q2 2019 with completion by Q4 2022.

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