The ‘center of excellence’ designation of Black & Veatch’s Houston office comes as major metropolitan areas - many in low-lying coastal regions or otherwise exposed to damaging rain events - have begun to see diminishing returns on investments in traditional conveyance and storage systems. Black & Veatch said that deep, large-diameter tunnels can deliver value for wastewater and stormwater utilities by providing additional storage and conveyance capacity to reduce or eliminate flooding and discharges of raw sewage overflows.
Current Black & Veatch projects in the sector include working as the city of Dallas’s construction manager for Texas’ largest stormwater tunnel, which received construction contract approval last month. The project includes a 8km-long tunnel - more than 9m in diameter - that will collect and convey floodwater, significantly reduce flooding and protect East Dallas businesses and residents from flood damage.
Past projects include the OARS tunnel, acombined sewer overflow project designed to improve wet weather overflows in Columbus, Ohio. Black & Veatch served the construction management role on the project.
“Large urban areas are increasingly turning to large-diameter tunnels to minimise the impacts of extreme weather as well as minimise public and environmental impacts from traditional stormwater conveyance and storage projects,” said senior client director Jarl Molander. “Tunnels remove floodwaters from problem areas and improve mobility by keeping streets free of water, generally without requiring significant property acquisition or causing damage to environmental habitats. From concept development through construction management, our office can help communities achieve these benefits while managing risk to deliver projects cost effectively.”