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MAY 1, 2001


On May second, Mayor Jeremy Harris is scheduled to accept a prestigious national award that honors the city for outstanding work on a recently completed sewer reconstruction project on Nimitz Highway. The project has received the Grand Award from the American Consulting Engineers Council. Mayor Harris will accept the award on behalf of the city and private consultants who built the project.

URS Corporation was the project's overall construction manager, micro-tunneling design engineer, geotechnical engineer and the prime design consultant for the segment from River Street to Richards Street. Other firms who worked on the project were M&E Pacific and Frank Coluccio Construction. The lead agency for the city was the Department of Design and Construction.

The work involved replacing more than 8,000 feet of aging, corroded and sagging sewer lines in downtown Honolulu and historic Chinatown, under extremely complex conditions. The obstacles included hundreds of underground utilities that intersected the sewer and unstable soil conditions which could have sunk the micro tunneling machines doing the underground boring.

In addition, the underground path of the micro tunneling machine faced hard boulders, buried wood, assorted debris and contaminated groundwater. Historic burial sites could not be disturbed. The project could also have been shut down during evening hours if a single unresolved noise complaint from nearby high-rise and retirement home residents voided its noise variance.

The project was completed on schedule and $3 million under budget. The micro tunneling machine was accurate to within a half-inch as it threaded through pre-placed manholes and tunneled within one to two inches under live underground electrical transmission lines. The sewer line in unstable soil areas was supported by grout injected underground in columns 80 feet long, an unprecedented length.

The Nimitz Highway Reconstructed Sewer project was also recognized with the Grand Conceptor Award, the highest award of excellence given by the Consulting Engineers Council of Hawaii.

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

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