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South End Sewage Rock Tunnel

Services, Structures & Tunnels Services

South End Sewage Rock Tunnel

Client: City of Greater Sudbury
Location: Sudbury, Ontario

Project Status: Portions of the new tunnel system were brought “on-line” incrementally, starting in April 2009 and finished by July 2009. The construction project was substantially complete in July 2009, with site cleanup and restoration works completed in the fall. The final construction value was $31 million. The South End Sewage Rock Tunnel project won the 2011 Project of the Year Award in the “environmental” category from the American Public Works Association and the 2010 Project of the Year Award in the “structures greater than $25 million” category from the Ontario Public Works Association.

Project Description:

Insufficient sewer capacity within its “South End” led the City of Greater Sudbury to retain R.V. Anderson Associates Limited (RVA) to complete the Class Environmental Assessment and provide design and construction services for an all-encompassing solution that would address local basement flooding and sewage overflows into local watercourses: a $31-million, 6.5-kilometre-long rock tunnel sewer system, blasted through bedrock more than 25 metres below the surface.

RVA’s innovative approach built upon Sudbury’s existing tunnel system and allowed the City to save an estimated $300,000 per year for the next 60 years, or approximately $17 million. The tunnel concept, however, meant that the implementation needed to address complex challenges.

Connecting to the existing tunnel system required specialized sequencing plans to address safety concerns since the connection was made “live” with no shutdown. The tunnel commissioning involved the decommissioning of six lift stations and diverting flow into the tunnel, requiring other specialized sequencing plans to address operational concerns.

Numerous stakeholder concerns required an enhanced stakeholder consultation program, including four Public Open Houses and two media tours. To address concerns related to odours, innovative odour control systems, including vortex-inducing chutes and de-aeration chambers, were created and constructed within the new tunnel system.

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