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Balmoral Drainage Facilities

Houston, Texas

Drainage

Owner:

City of Houston

Engineer:

Jones and Carter

Contractor:

Bortunco Tunneling Contractor

Installation:

September 2017

Technical Description:

  • Product: 2-Flange Tunnel Liner Plate, 5 gage, galvanized
  • Diameter: 132-inch
  • Length: 120 LF
  • Additional Product: 120-inch ALT2 ULTRA FLO®

 Located in the northern suburbs of the greater Houston area, the Balmoral drainage facility is part of a new land development to construct Texas’ first Crystal Clear Lagoon with white sand beaches located in Houston. The lagoon covers over 1.5 acres while the adjacent land is home to 3,000 lots in this master-planned community.

The project was bid in 2016 as a basic tunnel project. However, one of the biggest challenges that the project faced was not with the lagoon, but rather a nearby active rail line. Jones and Carter, in conjunction with Contech Engineered Solutions, designed a large storm sewer pipe underneath a Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) active railroad track. The design required 120 linear feet of 5 gage, 132-inch diameter 2-Flange Tunnel Liner Plate along with 10 gage, 120-inch diameter, aluminized type 2 (ALT2) ULTRA FLO® spiral rib pipe that would be placed inside of the Tunnel Liner Plate to provide drainage for the area.

During bidding, UPRR made a change to the plans that required a shield be used in conjunction with the Tunnel Liner Plate installation. This was the first time that Contech had ever done a Tunnel Liner Plate installation that required a shield. Through in-house engineering services provided by Contech, a new design was created using jacks constructed at the Contech Winchester, Kentucky plant in order to support the Liner Plate. The shield could then be advanced forward within the tunnel. Through joint efforts, the Tunnel Liner Plate was engineered in such a way that it was able to utilize the desired shield thus, Contech won the project. This provided a significant advancement in the use of Tunnel Liner Plate for additional applications such as this.

The Tunnel Liner Plate was delivered to the jobsite and installed in 2017. Outside of general challenges that arise during an installation, there was also significant rainfall which occurred in the Houston area during this time. While installation was underway, the tunnel experienced several heavy rain events that filled the tunnel three times over the four-month installation. The development area was originally a wetland area that had evolved into a housing development and was still prone to flooding. Even so, the Tunnel Liner Plate was able to be installed while the train tracks above remained active with trains going across the tunnel up to four times a day. After the tunnel was completed, the ULTRA FLO drainage system was installed inside of the Liner Plate and then grouted in place.

Both the City and UPRR were extremely pleased with the final outcome. This unique project was also awarded Project of the Year in 2017 by Jones and Carter for its unique application.

Technical Description:

  • Product: 2-Flange Tunnel Liner Plate, 5 gage, galvanized
  • Diameter: 132-inch
  • Length: 120 LF
  • Additional Product: 120-inch ALT2 ULTRA FLO®

800-338-1122 | www.ContechES.com

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