Haunted by the Past

by Victoria Frerichs, Proj. Coordinator; Kansas City Water and Pollution Control Dept., Kansas City, MO,
David F. Egger, (M.ASCE), Proj. Engr.; Black & Veatch, Kansas City, MO,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1993, Vol. 63, Issue 9, Pg. 69-71

Document Type: Feature article


Given the legacy of the construction of the Missouri Valley Water Tunnel in the 1920s—eight deaths and numerous injuries—it's no wonder that safety was foremost in the minds of the designers of the tunnel's successor, Kansas City, Mo.'s, recently completed Trans-Missouri River Tunnel. Construction diaries and other records from the construction of the first tunnel, along with recent borings and field tests, provided a picture of the difficult subsurface conditions the tunnelers would face. To keep the potential for mishaps to a minimum, the new tunnel's designers, Black & Veatch, Kansas City, included a number of stringent safety specifications in the bid documents and subjected potential contractors to a thorough prequalifying process. The result, despite gas pockets, oil seeping through the walls and fragile clayey shales, was a project that was completed with no construction-related fatalities.

Subject Headings: Tunnels | Field tests | Water tunnels | Occupational safety | Hydraulic design | Municipal water | Urban areas | Rivers and streams | United States | Kansas | Missouri

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