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Benbrook Pipeline Connection, 1999 OCEA
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The Benbrook Pipeline Connection is a $52 million project which includes an eight mile long 90-inch diameter pipeline, a four mile long 126-inch diameter tunnel with a 90-inch carrier pipeline, two de-chlorination facilities, and supervisory control and communication systems. The pipeline, which went online in 1998, allows the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) to utilize reservoir and transmission systems more efficiently, gaining an estimated $900,000 per year in power savings alone. The connection also provides drought backup for the West Fork of the Trinity River and redundancy in the water transmission facilities. The pump station was designed with special features in the structure, piping, systems and equipment, to allow for partial submergence during maximum flood levels, which provided significant cost savings in comparison to the prospect of elevating the station 46 ft. above the normal lake level.  Innovative methods were also used in the reinforcement of a hill which made up part of the foundation of the road leading up to the pump station bridge. Instead of conventional retaining walls, drilled shafts were placed on two-foot centers to minimize excavation of the unstable hill and shafts were faced with cast-in-place concrete.

 

Additional innovations aided in the construction process, including a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) which was specifically designed to handle both soft ground and hard rock, capable of earth pressure balance operation and featuring mechanisms to install the two types of tunnel liner that were required for the project. Recommendations from ASCE’s Committee on Resolving Disputes in Underground Construction and its Geotechnical Design and Summary Report were included in the contract specifications for the tunnel, which resulted in competitive bids and only .1% in change orders on the contract. Construction of the Benbrook Connection was completed six weeks ahead of schedule and on budget, saving the TRWD hundreds of thousands of dollars and solving a critical water supply shortage in Lake Arlington.

Owner: 
Tarrant Regional Water District
Engineer: 
Freese and Nichols Inc.
Contractors:
Bar Constructors Inc.
 Garney Construction Inc.
 Archer Western Contractors Ltd.


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