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Tuesday | Planning Track Sessions


Welcome to NATWeek: A Virtual Experience!
You can begin to access today’s on-demand content at 9 am MT. Be sure to join the Live Q&A to hear from the presenters and pose your industry questions to the experts.

Today's Schedule

9:00 am -11:30 am          Sessions

11:30 am - Noon        Break

Rescheduled Time 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm | Wednesday, June 10 Live Q&A
Link available at bottom of page

On-demand Sessions

Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority Phase 2 Raw Water Delivery System Project
Speakers: Eric Wang and Raymond Sandiford, HNTB Corporation, New York, New York

The Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority (BCRUA) is a partnership of the cities of Cedar Park, Round Rock, and Leander, Texas. The Phase 2 Raw Water Delivery System is a new deep water intake and conveyance system at Lake Travis. The estimated $160M project includes two lake taps with multilevel screens; a 9,000 LF gravity intake tunnel with a minimum 8-ft internal finished diameter concrete liner; an underground suction chamber with 6 well shafts; a 30-ft diameter, 300-ft deep construction access shaft; a 2,600 LF transmission tunnel with an 84-inch welded steel final liner; an exit shaft approximately 155 feet deep at the end of the transmission tunnel; a 145 MGD pump station with 10 pumps; and a maintenance building for chemical feed systems to the intake shafts. The majority of the underground work will be in limestone of the Glen Rose formation. Final design is underway with anticipated bid date of June 2021 and construction start date of January 2022. Major project elements, design developments, constraints, procurement methods, and project schedule are presented herein.

About James Parkes

James Parkes is the Technical Tunneling Director with Schnabel Engineering’s Tunneling Services Group. He graduated summa cum laude with BS and MS degrees in civil engineering from Virginia Tech. He has 20 years of experience in the geotechnical and tunnel design for underground works and is licensed in 10 states. His experience includes tunnels, microtunnels, trenchless installations, and shafts in both soil and rock for water, wastewater, and transit facilities.

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Highway Connection through Ouachita Mountains - Arkansas Tunnel Studies
Speaker: Eric Wang and Raymond Sandiford, HNTB Corporation, New York, New York

Bypassing and lessening traffic impact on very historic Hot Springs, the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) initiated a high-level tunnel feasibility study for proposed east – west arterial highway under Hot Springs National Park. Supporting AHTD’s due diligence comparison of open-cut versus tunnel option, study addressed feasibility, constructability, and conceptual cost and schedule estimates for new tunnel through elevated ridge terrain featuring very hard Arkansas Novaculite formation. Site survey and local geologic data informed development of practical sequential excavation method (SEM) tunneling approach to address sensitive environmental conditions. Tunnel envelope optimization efforts helped meet AHTD minimum operational and NFPA 502 safety requirements.

About Eric Wang

Eric is an Associate Vice President and East Operations Manager for HNTB's National Tunnel Practice with more than 30 years of experience. Past projects include MTACC's Number 7 Subway Line Extension, MTACC's East Side Access, NJ Transit's Trans-Hudson Express (THE) Tunnel, MTA Baltimore RedLine, Ohio River Bridges - East End Crossing Tunnel and DART D2. He is a licensed professional engineer in 6 states. Member of ASCE Geo-Institute's Underground Engineering & Construction Technical Committee.


About Raymond (Ray) Sandiford:

B&P Tunnel replacement project. Ray has been involved in heavy construction for over 40 years. Prior to HNTB, Ray was the Chief Geotechnical Engineer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and involved in all the major development work at all the agencies facilities. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the states of New York, New Jersey and Maryland and he received his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Stony Brook and his master’s degrees from Columbia University. Ray is a member of SME and an Emiratis member of both the Moles and the ASCE.


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Allegheny County Sanitary Authority - Tunnel System Preliminary Planning
Speaker: Mike Lichte & Kim Kennedy, Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

ALCOSAN’s planned improvements to better manage wet weather responses include a network of storage tunnels, green infrastructure and WWTP expansion to meet a federal mandate. A Preliminary Planning (PP) Project began in 2017 to optimize the tunnel system and complete preliminary engineering studies. The PP project will be completed in November 2020 with final design anticipated to begin in 2021.  The tunnel system consists of approximately 15 miles of 14 to 16 ft diameter tunnels, approximately 20 drop shafts and 5 miles of near surface consolidation sewers. This paper will review preliminary planning and design aspects and anticipated construction sequencing.

About Mike Lichte:

Mike Lichte, has been in his current position as Manager of Planning in the Regional Conveyance Department at ALCOSAN since 2008. The Regional Conveyance Department oversees the day to day operation of approximately 90 miles of Interceptor Sewers and over 300 Regulator Structures.

Mike’s efforts include the current, on-going planning activities associated with the regional wet weather control plan. In addition, Mike oversees planning activities associated with the ACT 537 program and manages several interceptor repair and rehabilitation contracts. Mike has over 25 years of experience in water and wastewater projects. In his former position with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, Mike was the Director of Engineering and Construction.

Mike received a Bachelor’s Degree in Aquatic Environments from Allegheny College in 1986 and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 1992. Mike is a licensed professional Engineer in the State of Pennsylvania and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Water Environment Federation.

About Kim Kennedy:

Kim Kennedy, P.E., has served as ALCOSAN’s Director of Engineering and Construction since 2018. Kim received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Bradley University and her Masters of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.  Before joining the Authority, Kim worked in the engineering consulting industry for twenty years. She is currently a board member of the Engineers Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP), and also serves as board secretary for the Pittsburgh chapter of the Society of Women Environmental Professionals.


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Determining the Feasibility of Tunneling for Flood Mitigation after Hurricane Harvey
Speaker: Brian Gettinger, Freese and Nichols, Houston, Texas

Up to 60 inches of rain fell during Hurricane Harvey leading to widespread flooding, $125 billion in damages and 65 deaths. Existing flood mitigation infrastructure is struggling to handle increasingly frequent large storms events and increasing population. Large diameter, deep inverted siphon tunnels have been proposed as a solution to improve system conveyance capacity; however, few large diameter tunnels have been built in Houston due to perceived challenges with soft clay and sandy soils, high groundwater, and faulting.

This paper discusses the outcome of a feasibility study including insights on geotechnical conditions, applicability of tunneling, conceptual cost estimate, and hydraulic capacity for the potential very large diameter and long inverted siphon tunnel(s).

About Brian Gettinger

Mr. Gettinger is the Tunneling Services Leader for Freese and Nichols. Brian Gettinger has been involved in the planning, design, and construction of tunnels and other heavy civil infrastructure in Texas and across the United States. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri – Kansas City with a degree in Civil Engineering and an MBA. His experience includes design, cost estimating, inspection and construction management of tunnels and grouting of shafts and reservoirs.


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Estimating Project Contingency Reserves – Now What?
Speaker: Keith Ward, City of Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle, WA and Connor Langford, Mott MacDonald, Vancouver, Canada

In underground construction risk and uncertainty is prevalent from the very outset of a project.  A risk and uncertainty analysis is useful to help convey confidence in delivering a project within an available budget.  But once the analysis is performed, what should a Project Owner do with the information and data available and how does it shape the outcome or even viability of a project?  This paper looks back at projects from a “what, if anything, could have been done better” and looks forward as to “how should the analysis inform delivery methods and contingency reserves once bids are received”.

About Keith Ward:

Keith Ward, PMP, PE has more than 28 years of project-delivery and organizational leadership experience in the private and public sectors as an engineer, construction manager, project manager, and program director. Keith is currently the Project Executive of the Ship Canal Water Quality Project where he leads a team of over 350 staff and consultants who are designing and constructing the largest project in the history of his organization. He has a strong interest in successful teamwork, cost estimating, and risk management. In his free time, Keith enjoys alpine climbing in the surrounding mountains throughout the summer months and skiing in the winter months.

About Connor Langford:

Following graduation from Geological Engineering at Queen's University in 2008, Connor worked as an engineer-in-training for Hatch and Hatch Mott MacDonald (HMM). His major projects included commissioning of critical mine systems at the Nickel Rim South Mine and the preliminary design for NWMO’s deep geologic repository for low and intermediate nuclear waste. In 2010, he went back to complete a Ph.D. in geological engineering with a focus on understanding uncertainty and risk in the design of underground structures.

After finishing his Ph.D. in 2013, He relocated to Vancouver to work for Mott MacDonald in the Tunnels Group. Since then he has worked on a number of tunnel projects across North America as a project manager, design coordinator, project engineer and risk management.

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Progressive Design Build in Silicon Valley
Speaker: Nik Sokol, Arup, Oakland, California

The Silicon Valley Clean Water Gravity Pipeline (SVCW) is among the first tunnel projects to be procured using Progressive Design Build (PDB). Selected to provide cost certainty after the 60% design level and to allow greater coordination of the design with operations and maintenance, PDB also facilitates collaborative working between owner, contractor and designer. The flexibility of PDB procurement has allowed early milestones to be achieved during Stage 1, prior the Stage 2 contract, including ordering the TBM and 100% design of the precast concrete segmental lining and TBM launch shaft. Successes and challenges of the PDB process are discussed.

About Nik Sokol

Nik Sokol is a Certified Engineering Geologist and an Associate in Arup’s global Tunnel Design team. He has over 20 years of underground design and construction experience gained working on infrastructure projects on 5 continents, in a broad range of ground types, and using a variety of excavation and ground support methods.


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Recent Experience with Bond Market Investors on P3 Projects with Large Tunnels
Speaker: David Mast, AECOM, Cleveland, Ohio

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) I-75 Modernization Project (Segment 3) in Detroit and Oakland County will be accomplished under a 30-year Private-Public Partnership (P3) with a contract value of over US$1 billion. Oakland Corridor Partners (OCP) was awarded the 30-year P3 Design-Build-Finance-Maintain project. In addition to highway road and bridge replacements, OCP will construct a nearly 4-mile long, 14.5-foot ID storage tunnel to eliminate pump stations and reduce road flooding. OCP assisted MDOT with securing financing, including bond ratings. The paper will share unique experience of winning and financing a P3 project with a large tunnel component.


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Live Q&A | 2:00 pm MDT | Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Join the speakers from today’s sessions. This is your chance to ask questions from industry experts and learn from their collective answers and conversation. This live session will begin at 2 pm MDT. *Please note this has been rescheduled to Wednesday, June 10th at 2pm.

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