Austin's 11-Mile Sewer Tunnel Reflects Sound Economic, Environmental Alternatives

by Albert M. Eldridge, (M.ASCE), Dir.; Construction Management Dept., City of Austin, Austin, Texas,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1976, Vol. 46, Issue 8, Pg. 52-55

Document Type: Feature article


An 11-mile long $20,000,000 concrete-lined continuous tunnel has just been completed across the City of Austin to serve as a sanitary sewer. Most of the tunnel is more than 100-ft (30.5-m) below highly developed areas of the City and under tough terrain. The 96-in. (2440-mm) to 84-in (2130-mm) diameter tunnel intercepts surface sewers with ten inlet shafts. Two boring machines cut through limestones and clay-shales. Almost one-half of the tunnel length is provided with precast removable cunettes and with an augmentation water source for low flows. The 131-mgd capacity tunnel (designed for maximum flow in 2020) saved many environmentally sensitive areas. Long term economy favored tunneling rather than conventional open cut construction.

Subject Headings: Sewers | Tunnels | Economic factors | Environmental issues | Urban areas | Concrete | Sanitary sewers | Terrain

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