Installation Honorable Mentions


Enbridge Alberta Clipper & Southern Lights

Michels Directional Crossings installed 33 crossings in five months for the 36-in. Alberta Clipper and the 20-in. Southern Lights pipeline projects.

Work began near Leonard, Minn., and made its way to Superior, Wis. Michels installed 47,600 ft of 36-in. pipe, with installations varying from 1,300 to 5,200 ft for the Clipper.

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The Southern Lights project was 30,837 ft of 20-in. pipe, with crossings ranging from 1,000 to 5,200 ft. Michels sent nine of its 14 large capacity drill rigs to work on the project at one time — the first time in Michels’ long history that it has resourced out so many for one contract within a 150-mile radius.

Temperatures ranged from the mid-80s to 20-below F, making the conditions extremely challenging. Additionally, while working on the project, Michels executed three HDD pullbacks in one day.

Project Owner: Enbridge

Engineer: J.D. Hair & Associates

Contractor: Michels Corp.

Microtunneling Under Lake Oahe in South Dakota

Michels Tunneling was contracted to bore a 950-ft tunnel underneath South Dakota’s Lake Oahe, a project that was supported with $18.9 million in economic stimulus funds. The water intake pipeline will provide drinking water to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe reservation. Michels used an Akkerman Inc. MTBM SL46 to install the 950 ft of 44-in., 16-ft length Permalok pipe. Among the challenges was that Michels anticipated a 60-ft high water table but instead encountered one that was 82 ft high, increasing the project’s difficulty.
Michels had to drill a 110-ft deep caisson with a diameter of 20 ft on the shore to launch the machine. Also, the underwater retrieval of the MTBM became much more difficult with the additional water table depth, forcing Michels to create new plans to retrieve the machine. Aided by A.D. I. Marine Professionals, Michels performed the wet retrieval of the MTBM. The retrieval process took two days, while the entire tunnel took six weeks.

Project Owner: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Engineer: Barlett & West

Contractors: Graham Construction Services Inc.

Subcontractor: Michels Tunneling


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Installation Honorable Mentions


Overpeck Valley Parallel Relief Sewer

The Overpeck Valley Parallel Relief Sewer Project of Bergen County Utilities Authority (BCUA), N.J., is a $65 million CSO improvement program to meet a state consent order by 2010. One major program component includes a total of 6,000 ft long, 72-in. diameter reinforced concrete pipe (RCP). The alignment includes drives through 2,788 ft of extremely soft glaciolacustrine varved clay, 3,214 ft of loose to medium dense mixed soils containing silty sands, gravels and boulders and crosses under the New Jersey Turnpike, US Highway Route 46, a CSX Railroad Intermodal Yard and a branch mainline.

This project is the longest and largest microtunnel project in the state of New Jersey in recent years, with under-crossings of highways and railroads built on extremely weak soils with Weight of Rod SPT values, as well as fills containing saturated silty sands, gravels and boulders. The entire microtunnel project was completely within schedule, under budget and with zero claims.

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Project Owner: Bergen County Utilities Authority
Engineer: Hatch Mott MacDonald
Contractor: Northeast Remsco Construction
Manufacturer: Herrenknecht

Estrella to Stockham, Ariz., Auger Boring Project

The Estrella to Stockham, Ariz., auger boring project involved the installation of more than 500 bores along a stretch of the Sunset Route of the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR). The railroad is in the process of double-tracking a majority of the Sunset Route to increase efficiency of its freight traffic. The auger boring work is located along a 103-mile section of the Route in Arizona between Estrella and Tucson.

The 500-plus bores ranged from 36, 48, 60, 72 and 84 in. Eight boring machines were mobilized. What made the project unique is the partnership of the three contractors — a first for all three involved and unusual for such a project. Cooperation and communication between all three was critical to making this work. There was also extensive pre-planning.

Project Owner: Union Pacific Railroad
Engineer: HDR Engineering Inc.
Contractors: Midwest Mole Inc., Iowa Trenchless and Pacific Boring
Manufacturers: American Augers and Barbco Inc.

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Sewer   |   Microtunnel   |   Auger Boring


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