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Michigan Ditch Tunnel

A 764-foot long curved tunnel built at 10,000 feet elevation

  • $7M

    Construction Cost

  • 764FT

    Long Tunnel

  • Cameron Pass, Colorado

    Cameron Pass, Colorado

A CM@Risk partnership delivers for Fort Collins

The Cache la Poudre watershed in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains is an important source of drinking water for the City of Fort Collins and surrounding communities. In 2015, a landslide removed part of a 5.2-mile irrigation ditch at the headwaters of the watershed, placing the upper three-quarters of the ditch completely out of service. The City’s utilities department needed a team who could not only restore waterflow but also design a solution that could be built in the remote Rocky Mountains at more than 10,000 feet of elevation. The design had consider the engineering aspects of the project, such as hydraulic and geotechnical issues, as well as significant constructability issues.

Stantec, along with a subconsultant and two contractors, performed an assessment. The construction of a tunnel was selected as a cost-effective solution that reduced risk of future damage to the ditch. We served as the prime/lead engineer for the tunnel design, survey, and completed contract documents for the cut and cover portions upstream and downstream of the tunnel and 60-inch HOBAS liner through the tunnel. An eight-foot diameter tunnel was needed to install a five-foot diameter HOBAS carrier pipe. The team also reviewed different tunnel boring machines before selecting Akkerman to manufacture a special machine just for this job.

The final design included an 764-foot long curved tunnel with a 630-foot radius and approximately 160-foot of carrier pipe outside of the tunnel matching into the existing Michigan Ditch on both ends.

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