One of the most challenging tunneling projects in the world
When the Southern Nevada Water Authority Capital Improvements Program needed to ensure services could be delivered even when Lake Mead was at low levels, they turned to the experts. In a joint venture with another firm, we provided extensive preliminary and final design phase services throughout construction to bring the Authority’s goal of full system capacity at low lake levels to fruition.
Geological conditions were a challenge on this project, particularly the presence of groundwater. Located primarily in the tertiary sedimentary rock of the muddy creek formation, the tunnel had to withstand a full 17 bar pressure. The tunnel boring machine was required to change between pressurized and unpressurized modes, and tunnel through rock, soil, and mixed face conditions. It traveled through three miles of solid rock and came within less than an inch of the center of its target while setting the record for current tunnel boring machine technology.
Approximately 90% of the drinking water delivered to customers in southern Nevada comes from the Colorado River, which is captured at Lake Mead. Thanks to our team, safe drinking water is consistently available to southern Nevada communities regardless of lake levels.
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