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Design and Construction of Sewers in Highly Congested Utility Corridors

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Highly congested urban utility corridors present some of the most difficult challenges to the installation of new sewage collection systems. The need to reconstruct approximately 7,000 linear feet of 36-inch gravity sewer lines using microtunneling methods through the busiest parts of downtown Honolulu required quick resolution of some highly complex design issues by the project Owner and designers.

Design and construction challenges included the presence of a complex maze of existing underground utilities, lack of construction and staging areas, highly restrictive highway and street usage requirements, noise variance constraints, complex and difficult ground conditions, shallow ground cover for microtunneling, and stringent dewatering requirements (only pristine water could be discharged into State waters).

The design and construction approach for this project included:

A preliminary utility probing program, and the preparation of a single geotechnical report with geotechnical baseline conditions, anticipated construction difficulties, and requirements for shaft construction, ground water control, ground improvement, and microtunneling.

Specifications requirements for escrow of bid documents, partnering, pre- and post-construction survey, construction monitoring of ground settlement, microtunneling, shaft construction, jet grouting, and additional probing for utilities and potential obstructions. The bid proposal also included payment items for recovery shafts, additional utilities and obstruction probing, special duty police officers, and utility relocation.

Pre-qualification of bidders was performed during the bidding period.

The design team was also retained by the Owner to provide construction management services. Pro-active construction management approach and genuine partnering efforts among all stakeholders allowed the rapid resolution of many construction challenges in a timely manner.

The reconstructed sewer was successfully completed in November 2000, with no dispute, well within the allocated budget, and on time. Similar design approach was adopted for other collection system projects in Hawaii, and yielded similar successful results.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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