January 2015 - Infrastructure Digest

Largo to spend $37M on sewer upgrades

“The big driver is (that) it’s going to stop the overflows,” city engineer Leland Dicus said.

The sewer improvements are the result of problems that started about 15 years ago when the system overflowed during the heavy rains of that hurricane season, Dicus said. The overflow came out through manhole covers and dumped sewage in the street that eventually made its way to the bay. In all, Dicus said, about 30 million gallons of overflow came out of the system.

Why should you read this? Just the numbers: “$37M”, “30 million gallons of overflow.” Tampa Bay Times, January 2015

Beer to be made from sewer water dubbed ‘sewage brewage’

“Call it former sewer brewing,” said Landers.

Instead of normal tap water to make their beer, the brewers will be using what was once sewer water — straight from the treatment plant. It’s all part of a competition Washington County’s Clean Water Services is putting on to demonstrate different uses for its water.

Why should you read this? It’s the great cycle of life. KXAN, January 2015

CHP car catches fire on Bay Bridge ramp, snarling traffic

Traffic on the eastbound Bay Bridge was snarled Monday evening after a California Highway Patrol vehicle caught fire on the eastbound off-ramp to Treasure Island, injuring the officer, officials said.

Why should you read this? I just like the headline. And, good pics. SF Gate, January 2015

Using Grout to Stop I/I

The Village of Ashley project resulted in the Central Ohio Wastewater Services crews in finding significant I/I at the manholes. Crews found 17 manholes next to a creek in the woods that were 16 to 26 ft deep with a very high water table. In looking into the cost for replacement for all the manholes, the cost totaled approximately $300,000.

“The Village of Ashley did a (cured-in-place pipe) CIPP liner project in 2007, removing half the peak flow from 1 million gal/day to 500,000 gal/day at a plant that was designed for 190,000 gal/day,” Howard explains. “We found the infiltration was coming between the CIPP liner and the original pipe releasing at the manholes. The acting engineer at the time had heard of Source One Environmental (S1E) LLC and its product so we gave it a try. Since the start of the project, our average dry time flows have went from 60,000 gal/day to 30,000 gal/day and heavy rain fall events have fallen from 500,000 gal/day to 250,000 gal/day making the plant more efficient.”

Why should you read this? The effectiveness and precise role of chemical grouting is too little understood by sewer network managers, IMNSHO. Trenchless Technology, November 2014

High-Tech Railway Monitoring Helps Save $13 Million

One component of the plan emerged early as particularly challenging and troublesome. Work on one section of the TBI would require installation of 162 feet of 12’x9′ box culvert, which in turn would require removal and replacement of 120 feet of rail operated by BNSF, and in the area of track affected, the top of the sewer tunnel was just five feet beneath the top of rail. Understandably, BNSF was concerned about the effect of any work in the area. This is a very busy section of commercial railway–30 to 40 trains daily–and shutdowns are almost unheard of, and stoutly resisted by BNSF. Still, BNSF agreed to an unprecedented 30-hour suspension of rail activity.

To further complicate work in this section, high groundwater and difficult soils made subsidence an issue, and railway settling was a real concern even without construction work. To allay BNSF’s concerns, Barr devised a technically progressive subsidence monitoring system based on 250 track-mounted prisms and two Leica TM30 optical monitoring sensors. With this worked out, the 30-hour “Big Dig” was set to proceed.

Why should you read this? Monitoring is getting easier, cheaper… and more important. (full disclosure—I wrote this awesome article) The American Surveyor, January 2015

MWRD, Denmark sign MOU to share knowledge, expertise about water industry

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) recently announced that it has entered into a collaborative agreement under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Aarhus Water, an independent regional water and wastewater enterprise owned by the municipality of Aarhus, Denmark.
The partnership was celebrated during a ceremonial gathering held at the Consulate General of Denmark on Friday, Jan. 16, at the John Hancock Center in Chicago, Ill., where MWRD President Mariyana T. Spyropoulos; Aarhus Water CEO Lars Schrøder; H.E. Peter Taksøe-Jensen, ambassador of Denmark to the U.S.; and other MWRD Commissioners all participated in the MOU signing ceremony.

Why should you read this? Chicago and Denmark? WaterWorld, January 2015

ATA Leaders Express Disappointment in President’s Infrastructure Message

“Just mentioning infrastructure is not a solution to our nation’s critical needs, and by simply bringing the topic up without details President Obama missed an opportunity to underscore the critical role our highway system plays in our economic well being,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “Now is the time, with the Highway Trust Fund set to go bankrupt in May, to show vision and leadership and most importantly, find funding, to keep that from happening. The trucking industry calls on the President and Congress to end this unnecessary uncertainty by funding our nation’s infrastructure and passing a new highway bill.”

Why should you read this? The SOTU is a good gauge of sentiment; is it anything more? PRN, January 2014

NJ Transportation Chief: Route 3 Cracks Widened Over Months

In October, inspectors checking the bridge found two 3-inch cracks in its steal beams, WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported.
“The tests this week found the cracks had grown to 6 3/4 inches and 4 1/8 inches,” Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox said. “That is what scared us.”

Why should you read this? Expect to inspect. CBS, January 2015

Officials forced to drain 50 acre lake after discovering leak in dam

Bounds told WLOX News on Thursday that the initial four foot wide trench that was dug to relive the pressure has expanded to 30 feet wide. Emergency officials were left with no other choice than to drain the entire lake.

Why should you read this? “No other choice than to drain the lake.” WLOX, January 2015

Cincinnati bridge collapse: 1 dead, 1 hurt after Ohio bridge collapses

Hours after an Ohio interstate overpass undergoing demolition collapsed, killing one person and injuring another, commuter traffic was slow around the Cincinnati region early Tuesday, particularly on other main arteries into the city.

Why should you read this? Bridge week continues, with a sad warning story. AP, January 2015

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