2021 Top Jobs Overall Winner: Veterans Memorial Force Main

Editor’s Note: In each issue, Utility Contractor will profile NUCA’s Top Job winners. These projects present the association’s best and most innovative work that keep our country’s utility networks operating at peak performance. To nominate your project for Top Jobs, visit: nuca.com/topjobs
Veterans Memorial Force Main

The Veterans Memorial Force Main project consists primarily of approximately 30,000 lf of 24-in. C900 PVC.

Cleary Construction successfully completed the construction of the $7.9 million Veterans Memorial Force Main Project, located in Bowling Green, Kentucky. With Bowling Green now being the third largest city in Kentucky and with the population on the rise, new and improved infrastructure is necessary for continued growth.

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The Veterans Memorial Force Main project consists of approximately 30,000 lf of 24-in. C900 PVC, 2,000 lf of 16-in. C900 PVC, 1,500 lf of 36- and 30-in. jack-and-bore, numerous air release valves and vaults, three flow meter vaults, one oxygen injection system and one major tie-in at the Water Recovery Facility. The project was widely recognized throughout the community for its heavy rock excavation, trenching, and blasting.

Cleary Construction Inc., along with Bowling Green Municipal Utilities, Warren County Water District, and GRW Engineers worked diligently over the course of a year to install the new 24-in. force main. The project would lead Cleary’s crews in and out of Kentucky State right-of-way, underneath city streets, highways, creeks, railroads, fields, and through local business fronts.

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In May 2020, Cleary Construction mobilized to Bowling Green to begin rock removal in preparation for pipe crews to arrive. Simultaneously, Cleary Construction’s bore pit crew worked tirelessly on excavating, trenching, and hoe-ramming out 40-ft long by 16-ft wide bore pits. In total, the project consisted of 16 36-in. bores and two 30-in. bores, with the longest being 200 lf under Morgantown Road. For this project to be laid seamlessly, the casing pipe under each roadway, creek and railroad needed to be in place and ready to take the 24-in. carrier pipe upon pipe crew arrival. Trusted boring subcontractor, Down To Earth Inc., helped make this project a success by working with Cleary to stay ahead of pipe crews throughout the duration of the project.

Although pipe installation was underway and bores were ahead of pipe crew, one key component for the new sewer force main to function properly had yet to be constructed. The ECO2 Oxygen Injection System would soon be under construction by Cleary and numerous other subcontractors and vendors. The system is comprised of an ECO2 cone, external process piping, electric valves, side-stream pump, an elevated aluminum platform, a liquid oxygen tank and evaporator. All of the abovementioned equipment sat on a 2-ft thick by 55-ft long by 20-ft wide concrete equipment pad. With the help of Scott & Murphy, D&M Electric, Revere Controls, Tompkinsville Industrial Repair, ECO2, and HP Thompson, the system would be a one-of-a-kind to Bowling Green.

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Wrapping the project up, Cleary Construction tied the new 24-in. C900 force main into an existing 42-in. CCFRPM pipe through the installation of a new 12-ft diameter precast manhole. Before the tie-in could take place, Sunbelt provided and installed a sewer bypassing system so that Cleary could safely access the 42-in. sewer. Once under bypass, Cleary cut the existing 42-in. sewer out of the way to install the base slab for the 12-ft structure. Once the base slab was in place, Cleary set the structure walls in place and built the invert for the existing 42-in. line as well as tied the new 24-in. force main into the system. Once fully installed, grouted and tested, bypass piping and pumps were dismantled. One more detail would ensure a lifetime of protection to the new structure. Spectra-Tech, out of Noblesville, IN, applied a spray-on three-phase lining system to the inside of the structure to complete the installation.

Bowling Green and surrounding areas are renowned for their cave systems as well as solid limestone just inches underneath the surface. One might ask how it is possible to install 30,000 lf of pipe in solid limestone. Cleary’s T1460 Trencor rock trencher would be the machine of choice for this project. Equipped with nearly 80 carbon tipped rock cutting teeth and the ability to trench 12-ft deep, rock would be no match for this 260,000-lb machine.

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Cleary Construction’s pipe crews would go on to lay nearly 30,000 lf of 24-in. pipe in the pre-cut ditch from Bowling Green’s Water Recovery Facility to Dishman Lane. Where the trencher could not access, Cleary and Rock Solutions worked diligently to drill/shoot and hoe-ram rock in order to install the system.
Due to the sheer size and weight of the trencher, mobilizing it from point A to point B took careful planning and organizing. Although each mobilization was planned for before the trencher ever made it to the site, it still wasn’t a quick and easy task. At each location requiring the machine to be picked up and moved, it needed to be broken down into three main components: the boom, the chain, and the “car body.” Breaking down and re-building the machine also required the use a Caterpillar 349 excavator, which would also demand a mobilization unless already on site. Once broken down, three heavy haulers were needed to haul the machine to its destination. Once at the destination, Cleary’s technicians and mechanics spent about a day to re-construct the trencher.

Creek bores posed another challenge. At the two Jennings Creek bore locations, ground conditions were less than suitable. Upon excavation, Cleary examined the material and made the decision that the slide rail shoring application would be the safest route to take. Creek boring operations were put on hold, but pipe laying operations would continue until the Slide Rail system arrived at the project. Installation of the slide rail system could take up to one full day depending on the size and depth of the pit. Once the system was installed, bottom of the pit rocked and pumps in place, boring operations were a flawless task.

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T1460 Trencor Rock Trencher

Equipped with nearly 80 carbon tipped rock cutting teeth and the ability to trench 12-ft deep, Cleary’s T1460 Trencor rock trencher would be the machine of choice for this project.

Weather conditions also posed a challenge. 2020 was a wetter than average with Bowling Green’s rainfall reaching approximately 4.51 in. above average. Cleary crews do not usually view rainfall as an excuse to stop work unless it poses a danger to themselves, the public or creates unsafe working conditions. Cleary pushed through most every rain day and snow day in order to provide BGMU a top-notch product before deadlines ever became a topic for discussion. Cleary Construction prides itself on finishing every job on time and under budget even if it means suiting up for the weather.

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Although the machine was part of Cleary Construction’s arsenal of equipment prior to the Veterans Memorial Force Main project, the Trencor T1460 trencher would show its face as the owners up-front cost saver. While trenching is still an expensive method of rock removal, the alternate rout of blasting is a much less cost-efficient route to take. Upon bidding the project, Cleary Construction made the decision to price trenching the project in lieu of shooting it. This method in turn saved BGMU dollars per foot of pipe installation as well as decreased the amount of time needed to complete the project.

Cleary Construction would like to thank its many subs and suppliers for making this project a success: Core & Main (pipe and appurtenances supplier); Infrastructure Precast (air release vaults, meter vaults, and the 12-ft diameter tie-in structure); the Oxygen Injection System was made possible through the efforts of ECO2, Revere Control Systems, The Henry P. Thompson Company, Tompkinsville Industrial Repair, Scott & Murphy, D&M Electric, Commercial Painting, Comfort Systems USA, Wimpee’s Welding, and many others; Rock Solutions (blasting); Saf-Ti-Co (traffic control); Spectra Tech (manhole lining); Bradshaw Fencing (fencing); Western Crane (meter vault placement); A&E Excavation (trucking); TPM (utility spotting, hauling, disposal); and Felts Towing, Cleary Group LLC and J&D Equipment Hauling (hauling, mobilization).

BGMU’s new Veterans Memorial Force Main now provides relief to Bowling Green’s existing gravity sewers and force mains. This, in turn, is providing BGMU’s and WCWD’s existing infrastructure with room and time for community growth.

Project at-a-Glance

Project Name: Veterans Memorial Force Main
Project Owner: Bowling Green Municipal Utilities
Location: Bowling Green, KY
Contractor: Cleary Construction Inc., Tompkinsville, KY Tags: