Tag Archive for 'sewer'

New Haven Jacks Missing Sewer Link

M&P Pipe Jacking uses four 200-ton Rogers hydraulic jacks to push 36-inch Hanson RCP sewer on C.J. Fucci Construction’s $12-million sewer separation project in New Haven.

$12 million project completes separation of storm water from 1860s brick sewer serving downtown and Yale University

By Paul Fournier

The “Missing Link” of a combined sewer separation program spanning decades and involving four Connecticut communities is now under construction for the Greater New Haven Water Pollution Control Authority (GNHWPCA or the Authority).

C.J. Fucci Construction Inc. has a $12-million contract with the Authority to separate storm water from a 150-year-old brick combined sewer serving downtown New Haven and Yale University in conjunction with conveying previously separated storm water flows into a new 72-inch reinforced concrete pipe (RCP).

Fucci’s contract for Phase 1A of Trumbull Street Area Sewer Separation includes installing about 3,200 linear feet of 36-inch to 72-inch storm and sanitary sewers on Trumbull Street using the trenchless jacking method. This busy thoroughfare provides the main access from I-91/I-95 to downtown New Haven and Yale University.

C.J. Fucci crew employs a Volvo excavator to lower one of the precast manholes supplied by United Concrete Products.

In addition, the New Haven-based contractor is installing 2,500 linear feet of 15-inch to 24-inch RCP storm sewers by open cut excavation, setting in place precast storm and sanitary sewer manholes, catch basins and other special structures, and performing surface restoration.

Storms Overwhelm Sewer

Under Executive Director Sidney Holbrook, the Authority provides sewer service for some 200,000 people in New Haven, Hamden, East Haven, and Woodbridge through the operation and maintenance of 555 miles of sewer mains, 30 pump stations, and the East Shore Water Pollution Abatement Facility. Located near New Haven Harbor, the East Shore plant treats an average daily flow of 40 million gallons of raw sewage, making it the second largest wastewater treatment plant in Connecticut.

A Volvo excavator places 36-inch RCP pipe manufactured by Hanson Pipe and Precast into one of three jacking pits built for sewer separation project.

Wastewater collection for Trumbull Street is currently provided by a 60-inch brick sanitary sewer built in the 1860s. Unfortunately, the sewer also collects storm water from building roof leaders, runoff from streets and parking lots, and about 120 acres of previously separated storm water from upstream areas. And while the brick sewer is said to be in excellent condition – thanks to the craftsmanship of the original builders — it can’t accommodate today’s combined flows during heavy rain and snowfall.

“Combined flows can increase quickly from a rate of 35 million gallons per day to well over 100 million gallons during a major storm event, exceeding the capacity of the sewer and the treatment plant,” said Mario Ricozzi, P.E., Manager of Design for GNHWPCA.

Dividing The Task

Due to its complexity, the Authority divided the sewer separation work into two contracts — Phase 1A and Phase 1B.

Phase 1A consists of work on the Trumbull Street Area, the downstream section,  managed by Cardinal Engineering of Meriden,

A Grove TMS 250C hydraulic crane equipped with a vibratory hammer installs HP12x63 battered pile during construction of reaction wall framework at a jacking pit.

Conn., while Phase 1B comprises work on Prospect Street, the upstream section, managed by URS Corporation’s Rocky Hill, Conn., office.

Phase 1B, which runs right through the urban Yale campus, was commenced first and was completed in June 2011.

C.J. Fucci won both contracts in the public bidding process, and subcontracted the extensive pipe-jacking for both contracts to M & P Pipe Jacking Corporation of Newington, Conn. Luigi DiMonaco, the Authority’s Construction Administrator, is overseeing the project.

Utilities, Traffic And Trees

Design manager Ricozzi said there were many challenges to completing the missing link. For example, there are a number of municipal and Yale University construction projects under way in the sewer project area. There are numerous utilities, including underground gas lines, water mains and conduits, together with overhead wires, that all have to be relocated from the path of the new storm drain and sewer lines.

Owing to the strategic location of Trumbull Street as the main access road to downtown New Haven and Yale, an intricate traffic detour program had to be worked out by project engineers and several City of New Haven and State Department of Transportation Agencies.

Furthermore, the project team has to protect legacy trees lining the busy thoroughfare. Stately sycamores and other large old trees, some of them up to five-feet in diameter, are to be avoided by construction if at all possible. Roots can’t be cut for fear of destroying trees. To address this environmentally sensitive issue, the design team hired The Care of Trees, a division of the Davey Group, to lead a tree preservation effort. These specialists inventoried, inspected and rated each tree along the route, noted Ricozzi.

“The root systems were located using ground penetrating radar to establish the relative size, location, and depth of roots. After analyzing the data, the team decided to use pipe jacking and push the pipe below the roots to preserve the trees,” Ricozzi explained.

Tight Quarters, Shallow Cover

Basically, the current project will redirect all sewage from building sanitary sewer laterals into a new 36-inch RCP sewer. All storm water will be carried by the new 72-inch RCP storm sewer. The existing brick sewer will remain in place, but once this project is completed it will carry only sanitary sewage.

The success of this plan relies on having three parallel sewer pipes installed very close together down Trumbull Street. From curbside, left to right, they are a 36-inch RCP sanitary sewer, a 72-inch RCP storm water sewer, and the existing 60-inch brick sewer. M&P is jacking the 36-inch pipe and the 72-inch pipe side-by-side, with the smaller pipe slightly lower than the larger pipe and only 5 feet between their centerlines. The 72-inch RCP and 60-inch brick sewer are typically separated by between just one and two feet.

In one area near the intersection of Trumbull Street, Temple Street and Whitney Avenue, there was not enough space to install a single 72-inch pipe so instead twin 48-inch pipes were to be installed.

Adding to the uniqueness of this project is the fact that in some places there is only 2-1/2 feet of cover available over the 72-inch pipe. A rare occurrence, according to Gene Zwicharowski, superintendent of C.J. Fucci’s Underground Utility Division:

“The old industry standard was ‘double the diameter of the pipe’ for earth cover,” said the longtime construction veteran.

Contractor’s Decisions

Zwicharowski said many complex tasks linked to the means and methods employed in construction were left up to the contractor. The contractor’s project engineer, Neil Velleca, P.E., had the prime responsibility for these tasks, which included maintaining sewer flows to existing buildings and monitoring the extremely close, parallel 60-inch brick sewer during construction and designing non ground bearing reaction walls for pipe jacking pits.

Before pipe jacking could begin, however, it was critical that continuous sewer services be provided to the many buildings on Trumbull Street.  All sewer laterals on the south side of the street had to be cut from the path of the jacked pipe and connected to a temporary bypass system. Baker Corp. provided the diesel and electric by-pass pumps for this essential operation.

Once the pipes have been jacked in place, sanitary laterals are to be connected to the 36-inch sewer pipe, while storm laterals are to be connected to the 72-inch storm water pipe.

The Jacking Process

In situations where there is poor bearing soil or the pit is too shallow to build a typical thrust wall, crews usually build reaction walls in pits to resist the thrust of jacking cylinders against the pipes. These reaction walls transfer horizontal loads to a structural framework. For this project, Fucci workers formed and cast concrete walls in place against a framework they previously fabricated

Some sections of 72-inch RCP storm water sewer, as shown in this photo, have to be jacked with only 2-1/2 feet of cover.

of steel HP12x63 vertical and battered piles and 8×28 walers.

The general contractor excavated and erected earth support systems for three jacking pits and three receiving pits.  M&P used four, 200-ton Rogers hydraulic jacks to push pipe through the soil. The jacks actually push against a steel ring-shaped shield designed to protect pipe and distribute forces evenly around its circumference. As part of this process, M&P workers enter the pipe to hand-shovel encapsulated soil into a wheeled cart which when full is pulled by cable back out of the pipe into the pit. A backhoe or crane then raises the cart to street level for disposal of the spoil.

According to Tim Tarini, construction coordinator for C.J. Fucci, M&P is jacking about 900 feet of 36-inch RCP sanitary sewer, 1250 feet of 72-inch RCP storm sewer, and 520 feet of twin, 48-inch RCP storm sewer. All RCP pipe is manufactured by Hanson Pipe and Precast, with Dean Logee serving as Hanson’s sales representative for the project. Pipe is being supplied through VIP Supply Inc. of Clinton, Conn.

Other Team Members

Other major construction items are two large precast concrete sanitary sewer doghouses designed to fit over the existing 60-inch brick sewer, plus two special storm water structures. United Concrete Products of Yalesville, Conn., is supplying the precast structures.

In addition to M&P Pipe Jacking, major subcontractors on the Phase 1A contract include: A&J Construction (paving); Glenn Terrace Landscaping (plantings); and KTM Electric (traffic signals and electrical work).

Tarini said he expects construction for the complex, high-profile sewer separation project to be essentially completed by mid-2013.

Environmental Benefits

When the entire project is operational, it will provide many environmental benefits for the Greater New Haven area. Not only will

Tree roots were located using ground penetrating radar, with the information leading to the decision to jack pipe below roots to protect the trees.

the long-awaited missing link for separated storm drainage be in place, but combined sewer overflows to the Mill River will be greatly reduced, rainwater flows to the treatment plant will be cut, local roadway drainage will be improved, and the sanitary sewer will have greater capacity.

This article appeared in the June 2012 issue so New England


We Ignore Our Infrastructure at Our Peril

If you didn’t see and read this you really should…

It was published in the History News Network Newsletter. I think we need to worry about terrorists but we also need to worry about the condition of our infrastructure and it’s continuing rate of deterioration…


We Ignore Our Infrastructure at Our Peril

By Carl A. Zimring

Carl A. Zimring is Assistant Professor of Social Science and Sustainability Studies at Roosevelt University in Chicago. He holds a PhD in history from Carnegie Mellon University. His dissertation, “Recycling for Profit: The Evolution of the American Scrap Industry,” was published by Rutgers University Press in 2009. He is currently conducting research for his forthcoming book, “Clean and White: The Racialization of Waste in Modern America

The explosions were horrifying.  A quiet residential subdivision south of San Francisco was consumed by a massive fireball in the early evening of September 9.  Firefighters who rushed to the scene initially thought that an airplane had crashed into the neighborhood.

No airplanes crashed, but the thought was understandable.  By the time the fire was contained, fifteen acres of suburban San Bruno had burned, with thirty-seven homes destroyed.  Within one week, six people were confirmed dead and more than four dozen were hospitalized.  The damage to people and property was on a scale of an air tragedy.

The cause of the fireball was not an airplane, nor a bomb, but the kind of infrastructure Americans reply upon every day to feed our creature comforts.  The fuel for the explosion was natural gas, the gas San Bruno residents relied upon to heat their homes and light their stoves.  A pipe built in 1956 to deliver that gas had ruptured, releasing highly flammable fuel into the air.  While an investigation into what triggered the fireball is ongoing, residents had complained for years about possible leaks producing odors in the neighborhood.

The tragedy in San Bruno should draw our attention to the infrastructure upon which we rely every day.  Millions of homes across the United States are woven together in networks of pipes and wires that deliver heat, electricity, and water to us.  Almost every day, this infrastructure serves us so efficiently that we do not notice the dire toll of age and use.  Rarely does it fail us on the scale that it did in San Bruno.

It does happen.  One January day in 1992, a similar explosion ripped through several apartment buildings on the northwest side of Chicago, killing four people and injuring many more.  In the weeks after that explosion, local and national news reported that the sixty-eight-year-old gas mains that produced the explosion were of the same age and type of those found in several other areas of the city, leading to a wave of “around the clock” (in the words of a People’s Gas spokesman) inspections and replacements of pipes in the months ahead.

Chicago received another reminder about the vulnerability of its infrastructure a few months later.  In April, contractors working in the Chicago River inadvertently punctured the ceiling of a forgotten freight tunnel below, causing over 100 million gallons of water to flood into the sixty-two-mile tunnel system feeding into the basements of office and retail buildings and knocking out gas and electricity service to much of downtown.  Fortunately, no one was injured, but property damage in the Great Chicago Flood exceeded $1 billion.  The unusual disaster made international news for days as workers struggled to remove the water pouring into the city’s central business district.

The freight tunnel through which the water poured was forgotten because few in 1992 remembered that Chicago had once used freight tunnels underneath the city.  The tunnel system under Chicago’s downtown was built at the start of the twentieth centu\ry to transport coal and solid waste via rail to and from the buildings without clogging the above-ground streets.  Changes to heating and plumbing led to the end of freight traffic in the tunnels by 1960, and the tunnels became conduits for power and gas lines.  What remained beneath the city’s streets lay forgotten.

Our gas mains may not be as utterly forgotten as the freight tunnels were, but they are taken for granted.  What happened in residential communities in Chicago in 1992 and San Bruno this year is possible in countless communities across the country.  In areas of the United States ranging from Boston to Los Angeles, the networks of pipe branching through cities and suburbs were laid between half a century and a century ago.  When we think of gas, it is usually in relation to our monthly utility bills, or in relation to our thermostats and stoves.  Few households use stoves more than fifty years old, but those stoves may well be connected to pipes far older than that.

Utilities do perform inspections of their infrastructure but Pacific Gas and Electric conducted regular surveys of its pipes in San Bruno without revealing signs of wear or decay.  No doubt depositions in future court actions will reveal the number and thoroughness of those inspections, especially given residents’ recent documented complaints.

The gas mains in San Bruno are only in the news because they failed spectacularly.  Those of us who live “on the grid” in metropolitan America are completely dependent upon this mass of technology that sustains our homes and businesses.  Most of us do not give it a second thought unless service is disrupted.

Remembering the infrastructure beneath us enough to understand the rigors we put it through and ensure it is properly maintained should not be difficult.  We may better understand (to paraphrase historian Harold Platt) our society and culture by studying the historical processes that led to the building and maintenance of our infrastructure.  Highly engaging books about the development of networks of pipes, corridors, and wires in the industrialized world include Platt’s The Electric City: Energy and the Growth of the Chicago Area, 1880-1930; the volume Technology and the Rise of the Networked City in Europe and America, edited by Joel Tarr and Gabriel Dupuy; and Mark H. Rose’s Cities of Light and Heat: Domesticating Gas and Electricity in Urban America.  These books should appeal to a larger audience than engineers and urban designers, as they reveal not only the mechanics of infrastructure development but ways in which social and economic forces have shaped where infrastructure is built, how well it is built, and how it is (or is not) maintained.  Decisions made decades ago shape even today who gets access to modern amenities, what those amenities are, and the risks we take to enjoy those amenities.

Urban environmental history provides us an understanding of how our modern infrastructure developed and what the potential risks are.  Our challenge is drawing upon that knowledge to ensure that oft-neglected infrastructure is maintained to serve us safely and effectively.  At Chicago’s Roosevelt University, we have recently developed a sustainability studies major that uses the history of the metropolitan area to discuss present and future efforts to make the systems managing water, waste, energy, food, and transportation safer and more equitable for people and biota affected by the region.  This is but one of many possible approaches to using history that may elevate our awareness of infrastructure and its risks.  Chicago’s infrastructure failures in 1992 made news for a while and then receded from public memory.  Let us work to ensure that the tragedy in San Bruno allows us to develop a better understanding of the networks beneath our feet.

State-Of-The-Art Healthcare Facility Under Construction

This article originally ran in the July 2009 issue of Construction Digest, an ACP publication

Project features an 815,000-square-foot replacement hospital

By Aram Kalousdian

A new state–of-the-art 47-acre integrated healthcare campus in Elmhurst, IL, just west of downtown Chicago, IL, is being constructed for Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare. The project began in March 2008 and it is expected to be completed in May 2011.

The project includes an 815,000-square-foot replacement hospital, a 25,000-square-foot addition to the Center for Health in order to accommodate its increasing outpatient volume, a 20,000-square-foot energy center and parking for 2,000 cars. The project also includes two medical office buildings that will each be 90,000 square feet. The medical office buildings are currently in the planning stages. One of the medical office buildings will focus on cardiac care and the other will focus on women’s services and cancer care.

The replacement hospital will include approximately 259 private patient rooms and 15 operating rooms and will serve cardiology, oncology and women’s services centers.

Construction Di_Elmhurst #1

The Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare integrated healthcare campus is under construction.

Gilbane Building Company is the construction management company for the project. Gilbane’s headquarters is in Providence, RI. The company has a regional office in Chicago, IL. Hammes Company is the program manager for the project.

There has been an extensive amount of site work on the project. “We have a deep foundation system in place. The replacement hospital is sitting on piles. We have less than ideal soil conditions on this project,” Tony Nugent, project executive for Gilbane Building Company said.

“Approximately 75 percent of the replacement hospital building footprint sits on an area that is very silty and wet and the finished elevation of the basement is 2 feet below the surrounding water table.

Bennett & Brosseau Roofing Inc. uses a Genie Telescopic S Stick Boom on the Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare project.

Bennett & Brosseau Roofing Inc. uses a Genie Telescopic S Stick Boom on the Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare project.

“Before excavating for the basement, we installed sheeting that provides water retention and is a cut-off wall. That was driven around approximately 75 percent of the building footprint. The basement is approximately 170,000 square feet.

“Once the cut-off wall was in place, we drilled approximately 1,400 auger cast piles into the ground. Those are clustered three to five per column and capped with a large concrete cap. That was the base for the steel columns. So, the foundation wall surrounding the basement and the footings for the interior columns are all sitting on piles. The piles go down anywhere from 30 feet to 55 feet below grade. The majority of the existing site was raised from 3 feet to 6 feet in order to accommodate the first floor elevation of the hospital as well as the parking lots. Once we got past the pile caps, it’s pretty much a traditional building structure from there up.”

The site work includes two retaining ponds on the south side of the site. The storm water from the hospital campus as well as some of the surrounding neighborhood streets drains through the site through a new network of storm sewers, which drain into the ponds. The storm water system was constructed in 2008.

The buildings are being constructed with steel and the exteriors include a combination of cold form framing with a brick veneer.

“Constructing a new campus provides us with the opportunity to build a state-of-the-art hospital that meets the needs of our patients, visitors, staff and physicians,” Leo Fronza, president of Elmhurst Memorial Hospital said.  “Our vision for a new facility is about improved performance and teamwork – how we positively impact patient safety, patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes.”

: Work proceeds on the Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare integrated healthcare campus project.

: Work proceeds on the Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare integrated healthcare campus project.

The hospital’s design will focus on the patient’s experience. To promote healing of the mind, body and spirit, the hospital will include extensive landscaping and be surrounded by green spaces, ponds and healing gardens to create a building in a garden concept.

The interior design will use natural light and other features to create a “non-institutional” feel. All patient rooms will include hotel-like amenities, such as room service on request and comfortable places for families to visit and stay with loved ones. In order to promote safety, the patient rooms will be laid out exactly the same instead of having mirrored rooms with left-hand and right-hand orientations. Beds, supplies and equipment will be located in the same place from one room to another.

“The new Elmhurst Memorial Hospital is evidence that it is possible to create a truly positive experience for everyone who will walk through our doors,” Robert Soukup, chairman of the Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare Board of Trustees said at the project’s groundbreaking ceremony in May 2008. It will be a hospital where modern technology joins with compassion to treat the whole person, not just an illness. It will be a hospital flexible enough to adapt and grow to meet the ever-changing needs of our communities.”

Subcontractors on the project include Archon Construction Company, of Addison, IL (site utilities); Dupage Topsoil, Inc., of West Chicago, IL (excavation); Hayward Baker, Inc., of Roselle, IL (earth retention); Case Foundation Company, of Roselle, IL ( Auger cast piles); Abbey Paving Company, of Aurora, IL (asphalt paving); R. Olson Construction Company, of Bloomingdale, IL (concrete); J&E Duff, of West Chicago, IL (masonry); LeJeune Steel Company, of Minneapolis, MN (steel fabrication); Chicago Steel Construction, of Merrillville, IN (steel erection) and Bennett & Brosseau Roofing, of Romeoville, IL (roofing).

Other subcontractors on the project include Thorne Associates, Inc., of Chicago, IL (drywall and acoustical ceilings); Alliance Glass & Metal, of Romeoville, IL (curtain wall and windows); RG Construction Services, Inc., of Elmhurst, IL (exterior studs and sheathing); Otis Elevator Company, of Lombard, IL; VMI Mechanical Systems, of Arlington Heights, IL (heating, ventilating and air conditioning sheet metal); Advance Mechanical Systems, Inc., of Mount Prospect, IL (mechanical piping); United States Fire protection, of Lake Forest, IL; ITG Solutions, Inc., of Homewood, IL (temperature controls) and Meade Electric Company, of McCook, IL.

The mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering firm is Korda/Nemeth, of Columbus, OH and the civil engineering firm is V3, of Chicago, IL. The architects are Albert Kahn Associates, of Detroit, MI and Pratt Design Studios, of Chicago, IL.

Material quantities include 12,000 linear feet of mostly concrete storm sewer pipe; 3,500 linear feet of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) sanitary sewer pipe; 3,500 linear feet of ductile water main; 330,000 cubic yards of mass excavation; 55,000 cubic yards of granular fill; 33,700 square feet of sheeting; 1,200 piles totaling 60,000 linear feet with 143 tons of rebar and 3,000 cubic yards of concrete; 19,690 cubic yards of stone; an additional 28,000 cubic yards of concrete with 800 tons of rebar; 1,200,000 bricks; 7,500 tons of steel and an additional 7,500 tons of steel with 870,000 square feet of decking.

Additional material quantities include 160,000 square feet of single ply roofing; 32,000 square feet of garden roof assembly; 69,000 square feet of shingle roofing; 3,200,000 square feet of drywall; 630,000 square feet of acoustical ceiling; 41,000 square feet of curtain wall; 18,000 square feet of windows; 250,000 square feet of exterior wall; 15 elevators; 1,500,000 pounds of ductwork; 85,000 linear feet of heating, cooling and medical gas piping; 8,600 sprinkler heads; 1,300 variable air volume box controllers; 1,400 automatic valves; 1,500,000 linear feet of conduit; 2,200,000 linear feet of wire; 16,000 light fixtures and 84,000 electrical devices.