Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2018, Anaheim, CA, USA, (DFI)

Design-Build of Watertight Underground Structures for Tunneling in Miami, Florida - The Norris Cut Utility Relocation Project
Terrence Carroll, P.E., G.E., May ElKhattab, P.E., Eugene Mirsky, P.E., Eloy Ramos, P.E., Jose Torres, John Wise and P.E.

In 2017, Nicholson Construction Company completed a $72.1 million design-build contract for Miami Dade Water and Sewer Department to replace an existing 54-inch diameter pre-stressed concrete force main that runs from the Virginia Key Central District Wastewater Treatment Plant, under the Biscayne Bay at Norris Cut, to Fisher Island. In order to install the new sewer pipe below the bottom of Biscayne Bay, a tunnel boring machine (TBM) was launched from a 42ft diameter and 89ft deep shaft on Virginia Key and a precast segmentally lined tunnel was constructed towards a 28ft diameter and 72ft deep retrieval shaft on Fisher Island. Both shafts were constructed through sand and highly permeable limestone, primarily the Fort Thompson Formation which is part of one of the most permeable aquifers in the United States and two different techniques were used to ensure a water-tight shaft at each end of the tunnel drive. The launch shaft structure was built using the secant pile technique, wet excavation and a tremie plug. For the tunnel break-in a soil freeze block was installed after the ground was treated with low mobility grout. The retrieval shaft was built using the Deep Soil Mixing (DSM) technique and excavated in the dry. Precedence of any other structure built this deep through hard layers (UCS over 3,000 psi) using this technique was not found. This case study addresses the challenges of constructing watertight underground structures in highly porous ground for launching and retrieving a TBM. Design challenges from complex asymmetric loading, selection and comparison of the construction techniques, the installation and excavation of both shafts, and their performance are also discussed herein.

 article #3105; publication #1045 (AM-2018)