The Big No-Dig

by Arthur A. Spruch, Principal; SEA Consultants, Cambridge, MA,
John J. Struzziery, Assoc.; SEA Consultants, Cambridge, MA,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1993, Vol. 63, Issue 12, Pg. 66-69


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: As part of the Boston Harbor cleanup project, engineers will have the opportunity to make a rare, side-by-side comparison of open-cut construction and no-dig technology during the Wellesley Extension Relief Sewer rehabilitation. The project has been dubbed the big no-dig, in the hope that the sewer rehab will not disturb neighboring wetlands and private property. The rehab is part of the city's plan to modernize the wastewater collection and treatment system serving 43 communities in the Boston metropolitan area. Phase 1 consisted of open-cut construction of a new 54 and 60 in. diameter interceptor. The second phase (the no-dig part of the project discussed in this article) focuses on the rehabilitation of the existing sewer—a 7.5 mi long, 48, 54 and 60 in. diameter reinforced concrete pipe, including a 3,000 ft tunnel, two 27 in. diameter and one 33 in. diameter double-barreled siphons, 83 manholes and nine concrete structures, consisting of flow connection chambers and siphon inlet and outlet chambers. For the pipe rehab portion of the project, engineers analyzed a number of no-dig methods (most prominently cured-in place pipelining and sliplining), which were then bid against each other.

Subject Headings: Boston | Construction methods | Rehabilitation | Reinforced concrete | Sewers | Technology

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