Grouting Through a River

by James A. Morrison, (M.ASCE), Vice President; Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Cleveland, Ohio,
Richard J. Switalski, Project Manager; Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Cleveland, Ohio,
Thomas R. Scotese, (M.ASCE), Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Cleveland, Ohio,
Randall J. Essex, (M.ASCE), Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Oakland, CA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1995, Vol. 65, Issue 2, Pg. 60-63

Document Type: Feature article


A regional sewer district in Ohio is implementing a master plan to separate storm and sanitary flows, decommission some old treatment plants and upgrade others. Part of the plan, the West Leg Interceptor, called for a gravity sewer tunnel 4 ft under a sensitive river. Engineers studied cut and cover approaches and decided that because the river is subject to turbulent storm flows, a tunnel boring machine was the better way to construct the 78 inch diameter tunnel. Because of the host rock, Berea sandstone, with its widely spaced bedding planes and near-vertical joints, a grout curtain was placed before tunneling. Engineers first placed a 5 ft concrete cap in the flowing river, then grouted through it. The operation under the river was successful. However, there were excessive inflows at the next stage of the project, and sand and silt got into the boring machine.

Subject Headings: Grouting | Rivers and streams

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