DC advancing clean river mega-project 29 May 2013
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
Gilbane Building Company, in partnership with HDR and additional speciality teams including Babendererde, EPC and Brierley Associates, is awarded the construction management contract for the Anacostia River CSO abatement tunnel on the US$2.6 billion Clean Rivers Project in Washington, DC.

Clean Rivers Project tunnels

"We're excited to be a part of this important initiative to protect our natural resources for future generations," said John Kaplin, Gilbane Project Executive. "We have extensive tunneling expertise from our various successful projects for the Narragansett Bay Commission in Rhode Island and we look forward to applying our knowledge to helping clean up the Anacostia River."
The 3,810m Anacostia River Tunnel will, once completed, link with the 7,193m Blue Plains Tunnel that is already under construction to the south under a separate US$330.5 million design-build contract held by the Traylor/ Skanska/ Jay Dee JV as contractors and Halcrow as design engineer. A 7m diameter Herrenknecht EPB has been procured to excavate the Blue Plains Tunnel in soft ground next to the Potomac River. It was lowered into the launch shaft last month (April 2013) ready for a northward drive along the edge of the Potomac to the Anacostia River. The Client, DC Water, told TunnelTalk it expects the first drive to commence in July (2013).
Earlier this month (May 2013) a JV of Impregilo/Healy was awarded the US$253.9 million design-build construction contract as low bidder for the Anacostia River Tunnel, with Parsons as design consultant. Contract scope is for design and construction of six shafts, a 3,810m x 7m i.d. tunnel with bolted/gasketed precast concrete lining, dropshafts, adits and diversion chambers.
The Blue Plains Tunnel Project is the first and largest of four major tunnel contracts to control combined sewer overflows into the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. Running more then 30.5m below the surface, this first tunnel project, which broke ground in October 2011, will extend from the Blue Plains Treatment Plant in Southwest DC, roughly along the east bank of the Potomac, crossing under the Anacostia to terminate at a reception shaft at DC Water's main pumping station.
The 4,624m North East Boundary Tunnel (NEBT) that will extend the reach of the Anacostia River tunnel to the north, and a further 5,060m of branch tunnels that will be connected to the main tunnel via the NEBT, are due to begin construction between 2018-2021, and will be let as two separate design-build contracts.
  • 7m diameter TBM for Blue Plains Tunnel

    7m diameter TBM for Blue Plains Tunnel

  • Launch shaft on the Blue Plains Tunnel

    Launch shaft on the Blue Plains Tunnel

The project is one of more than 750 court-ordered Long Term Control Plans across the USA that have been forced by the Federal Clean Water Act, which requires water authorities to reduce sewer overflows into rivers and creeks to within agreed limits. The Anacostia Tunnel, Blue Plains Tunnel, NEB Tunnel and NEB branch tunnels are separate but linked components of DC Water and Sewer Authority's overall Clean Rivers Project.
The Blue Plains Tunnel along with the Anacostia River Tunnel that extends to near the RFK Stadium, together with their surface hydraulic facilities and a tunnel dewatering pump station, are scheduled to be put into operation by March 2018, providing relief to the Anacostia River first.
Blue Plains tunnel teams selected in DC - TunnelTalk, March 2011
Miles of new tunnels to clean up Washington DC waterways - TunnelTalk, August 2009
DC Water starts on major CSO program - TunnelTalk, October 2011

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