Since 1993, Trenchless Technology has recognized the best and most challenging projects in the trenchless industry — for rehabilitation and new installation. As more trenchless innovations have been introduced, the complexity and the scope of projects has increased dramatically. This has made it increasingly difficult for the Selection Committees — we have a separate committee judging the rehabilitation and new installation nominations — to select the winners of these prestigious awards.
This year has a unique occurrence in that projects from the same contractor — Michels Corp. — has been selected as both the rehabilitation and new installation winners.
I find the rehabilitation project to be especially fascinating because of the tremendous logistics. This sewer project took place on the island of Guam, which has been a U.S. territory since 1898. Michels is headquartered in Brownsville, Wisconsin. Guam is 9,000 miles away and there is a 16-hour time difference.
Just imagine what it took to get project staff, equipment, and materials to the project. This was a CIPP lining project using Saertex liners that had to be shipped all the way from Germany. The last four months of the project had to be completed during COVID-19 restrictions. Work had to be completed through jungles. And get this: Guam is noted for having many brown snakes, some 13,000 per square mile.
On the new installation side, Michels completed a 2.5-mile HDD crossing of Lake Sakakawea near Williston, North Dakota. It was a natural gas installation as part of the Bakken Pipeline. The project was completed with a unique environmental approach. This pipeline is in the category of a transmission pipeline. You may know that these pipelines have faced unbelievable scrutiny in recent years coming from environmentalists, regulatory and governmental agencies, and Native Americans.
It gives us great pride to have the opportunity to see what all the Project of the Year nominees have accomplished. More details are in this issue covering the Michels projects and the Runner Up and Honorable Mention projects.
Formal recognition of the Projects of the Year will be made at next year’s at the NASTT No-Dig Show in Orlando.
Congratulations to all of our Project of the Year winners!
Bernard P. Krzys, Publisher