Atlanta, GA - After an Onsite First Time Assembly (OFTA) lasting just 2.5 months, Atlanta Georgia’s newest TBM, dubbed “Driller Mike”, made its initial startup on October 13, 2016, and ramped up to full production two weeks later.
Atlanta’s Mayor Kasim Reed and city officials gathered with local and national media to celebrate the occasion. The 3.8m diameter Robbins Main Beam TBM is now boring the 8km Bellwood Tunnel after walking forward into a starter tunnel. The Bellwood Tunnel path will travel from the inactive Bellwood Quarry, run below a water treatment plant and reservoir, and end next to the Chattahoochee River.
City of Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management greenlighted the project due to the city’s current emergency water supply shortage. PC/Russell JV subcontracted with the Atkinson/Technique JV to operate the TBM and will oversee construction of various intake and pumping shafts as well as final lining operations. The project is of utmost importance for the City of Atlanta, explained Bob Huie, Sr. Project Manager for the PC/Russell JV. “Right now, the downtown area’s emergency water supply is approximately three days. With the tunnel, the supply will increase to between 30 and 90 days. To be a part of the city’s emergency water supply solution is huge. This tunnel will protect the city for a very long time.”
Excavation is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2018. After final lining, the tunnel will be filled with water and the quarry site will become Atlanta’s largest reservoir and park, totaling hundreds of acres. While the park site is a bonus for residents, the water storage capacity provided is critical.