Huxted Trenchless – Leading the Industry in HDD and Microtunneling
What happens when you combine two respected trenchless construction companies with 65 combined years of purely trenchless expertise? You form one powerful, knowledgeable, trenchless dynamo. In 2022, JAG Companies combined ECI Drilling and Huxted Tunneling to create Huxted Trenchless.
What prompted the decision to unite these forces? According to Roly Acosta, President, and CEO of JAG Companies, “Combining the operations of Huxted Tunneling and ECI Drilling under one rebranded company was not an easy decision. Both companies were synonymous with their area of trenchless expertise. However, our collective vision for success superseded any second-guessing.” Thus, the move to consolidate became obvious. Roly shared, “We brought together talent and equipment under one roof in Conroe, TX. The ECI employees embodied the TEAM approach and welcomed Huxted employees, who relocated their families. We quickly became one trenchless family!”
Celebrating the first anniversary of Huxted Trenchless, we reflect on the history that led us to this point. ECI Drilling was founded to provide a less intrusive alternative to placing product lines underground. They performed more land-to-shore drills than any company in the US and achieved international acclaim as well.
Among ECI’s long lineage of impressive projects were the Block Island Wind Farm Transmission Project and HDD Installation of New 20” Sub-Aqueous Watermain to City Island, NY Project. The Block Island Wind Farm Transmission Project in RI was the first offshore connection in the United States. The drills were up to 50’ below the state beach surface, with crews installing a total of 2,700’ of drilled conduit to carry power from a 30 MW wind farm to a National Grid switching station in Narragansett. This installation supported the first US offshore wind farm, transferring power from a five-turbine offshore wind farm to Block Island and to the mainland power grid. It consisted of three crossings under public beaches and protected sand dunes from land terminating in the Atlantic Ocean and the installation of 16” HDPE at each location.
ECI’s City Island Project was the longest ductile iron carrier pipe installation in an HDD-installed carrier pipe in New York City. The project involved drilling two x 2,000-foot subaqueous water crossings and the installation of 20” ductile iron water main pipe inside 32” drilled steel casing. The City Island Project received the “Project of the Year” award from the NYC DDC.
Huxted Tunneling had made a name for itself, too. In its infancy, Huxted was an underground, auger-boring company. With the rapid growth of microtunneling in the United States during the early 1990s, the owners dedicated themselves to becoming a full-service microtunneling contractor serving Florida. Fast forward to the early 2020s: the vision became a reality. Huxted Trenchless pursues work across two-thirds of the US and is an industry leader in microtunneling. With equipment capable of installing pipe from 24” to 120” in diameter and experience in a wide range of geotechnical conditions
Under the direction of Ray Post, Senior Vice President of Huxted Trenchless, a 32+-year tunneling and trenchless veteran, the company is thriving. When asked what tunneling project, he is most proud of, he cited the 2019 MCO South Airport Terminal Phase One Project in Orlando, FL. The project was both incredibly challenging and successful. Huxted installed two microtunnels using 38” Permalok steel casing pipe under two of the busiest taxiways at Orlando International Airport. Each tunnel was 1,042 feet in length, with just three feet separating them. Huxted performed the sheet pile launch and retrieval shaft installation, as well.
Another area Ray is proud to attribute the Huxted name to is the number of water intakes and outfalls Huxted has performed. As small as 30-inch steel and up to 84 RCP inches in diameter. We have performed underwater retrievals in lakes and rivers, including the Mississippi.
Ray is enthusiastic about Huxted Trenchless and the direction it is moving. He stated, “We are the same people, same place, same expertise – just a new name!”