New U.S. Microtunneling Record Set in Ohio

On May 18, Ric-Man Construction Inc. achieved a new U.S. standard for longest microtunneled project by completing the 3,947-ft Painesville (OH) Raw Water Intake, according to Herrenknecht AG. Crews used a Herrenknecht AVN1500 to jack 60-in. RCP (10-ft lengths) under Lake Erie.

The drive broke the U.S. record of 3,000 ft of 84-in. pipe set by Kiewit Bilfinger Berger JV in 2008 as part of Portland, Oregon’s East Side CSO program. Terratest set the world record for the Altamira Landfall project in the Gulf of Mexico, which involved a 7,369-ft drive of 10.5-ft diameter pipe.

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In Painesville, tunneling was performed from a 67-ft deep shaft. The tunnel alignment was approximately 25 ft below the bottom of Lake Erie. Ric-Man tunneled through full-face shale as well as a mixed face of shale and clay.

The $17 million intake project began in November 2016, with current plans to activate the project by the end of 2019. The project replaces a 24-in. riveted steel raw water intake that was originally built in 1913 and abandoned in 2010. A second 36-in. intake pipe, built in 1951, is now the source of water for the city, but was experiencing problems due to open joints and missing pipe segments.

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The new pipeline extends farther into the lake and will provide the City of Painesville with an intake that is less susceptible to harmful algae blooms, provides redundancy with a secondary intake source, improves water quality, and reduces the amount of chemicals needed for treatment. The project was funded by Ohio EPA Water Supply Revolving Loan Account.

Parties involved in the project include City of Painesville (Owner); Ric-Man (Contractor); Burgess & Niple (Design Engineer); HRC (Consultant and Value Engineering); GEI (Pipe Design); Northstar Contracting (CIP Concrete Structures); Whitesell Electric (Tunnel Electrical); Underwater Marine (Marine Work); The Mannik and Smith Group (Construction Engineering, Administration and Inspection); Northern Concrete Pipe (Pipe Supplier).

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