Black & Veatch, a leading global provider of critical human infrastructure solutions, announces that two water-related projects in which it played key roles have been awarded “project of the year” honors from the Underground Construction Association (UCA).
Among projects ranging in cost from $50 million to $500 million, the UCA awarded top honors to the $320-million effort to bolster Atlanta’s strained water supply. With Black & Veatch serving as owner’s engineer while supplying engineering, structural guidance and tunneling, mechanical, electrical and plumbing expertise, a former rock quarry was repurposed into a 2.4-billion-gallon raw water storage site for eventual use as drinking water. A complementary five-mile-long tunnel – 400 feet deep and 12.5 feet in diameter – now connects the city’s two water treatment plants and the quarry, along with two pump station sites.
“This award is a testament to how collaboration and resolve helped overcome the substantial technical issues that came into play in realizing Atlanta’s vision of a more sustainable water supply,” said Stephen Simpson, client services director at Black & Veatch.
Among projects costing less than $50 million, the UCA – a division of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) – bestowed top honors to the Renewable Water Resources (ReWa) Reedy River Basin Sewer Tunnel in Greenville, South Carolina. Known as “Dig Greenville,” that project – ReWa’s first tunnel and largest-ever wastewater infrastructure project – mitigates wet weather overflows to support sustainable growth in Greenville. Black & Veatch provided planning and alternatives evaluation, design engineering and construction management.
That new infrastructure was designed to increase the Greenville region’s sewer capacity, protect the local environment, and support responsible residential and industrial growth by handling and mitigating the impacts of wastewater overflows during peak wet weather events. The 5,950- foot-long, 11-foot-diameter gravity tunnel was excavated through solid granite approximately 100 feet beneath Greenville’s business district and other public areas.
“Underground construction reduced disruption for those who live and work in Greenville,” said Greg Wright, ReWa’s director of engineering.
“Overall, this project alleviates overflow risks and prepares the upstate of South Carolina for the future.”
“Dig Greenville exemplifies the successful integration of public works planning, design, engagement and adaptability,” added Stephen O’Connell, Dig Greenville construction manager for Black & Veatch. “ReWa did everything right with this tunnel project, down to the extensive community relations and outreach program that contributed to construction success.”
The UCA awards “recognize an individual or a group that has shown insight and understanding of underground construction in a significant project, which may include a practice, developing concepts, theories or technologies to overcome unusual problems within a project.”
On the Atlanta project, River to Tap and Stantec Joint Venture served as the lead design firm and civil engineers, with PC Construction and H.J. Russell & Co. as construction managers. In addition to ReWa and Black & Veatch, the Greenville-related award acknowledges Super Excavators as the construction contractor.
The award was presented during this week’s 2022 North American Tunneling Conference in Philadelphia.
The Atlanta project also has won the Engineering News-Record’s water and wastewater global and Southeast project of the year for 2021.