The Alexandria Renew Enterprises (AlexRenew) Board awarded a contract to Traylor-Shea Joint Venture to develop and build the RiverRenew Tunnel System Project at its regularly held Board of Directors session on Tuesday, Nov. 17. This represents a significant step in complying with Virginia’s 2017 legislation to supply Alexandria with safer, and healthier water by July 2025.
A pipeline featuring 2-mile-length, and 12-ft-width, shafts, and other drainage infrastructures are all included in the RiverRenew Tunnel System Project that will help avoid the Potomac River, Hunting Creek, and Hooffs Run from contaminating about 130 million gallons of sewage per year, thus, such a sewage-related problem that dates back to approximately mid-19th century would be addressed by the scheme. With funding from the City of Alexandria, AlexRenew has been seriously working to incorporate the RiverRenew initiative since 2018.
A large-scale contract estimated to be $454.4 million was given to Traylor-Shea to finish the final design and to construct the Tunnel System Project. The design-build team of Traylor-Shea incorporates J.F. Shea Co and Traylor Bros, Inc., a joint venture, with funding from Corman Kokosing Construction Co. and Jacobs Engineering. To conduct this unique endeavor, Traylor-Shea brings a detailed history and a clear, local knowledge. About 90% of the project’s work is planned to be carried out by businesses headquartered in Alexandria.
In the past 30 years, the Traylor-Shea team has conducted and implemented over 15 tunnel projects worldwide, the most recent of which in the area is considered to be the 4.5-mile-long, 23-ft-wide Blue Plains tunnel in the District of Columbia. This award-winning scheme was also planned to tackle the sewage pollution problem and was completed safely with zero lost-time accidents on track, and also with precise budget allocation. Traylor-Shea intends to make use of a state-of-the-art tunnel boring system to concurrently excavate, like the Blue Plains project.
Karen Pallansch, AlexRenew CEO, asserted in a formal statement: “AlexRenew is excited to partner with Traylor-Shea to improve the health and quality of Alexandria’s waterways on RiverRenew, the largest infrastructure project in the City of Alexandria’s history,” he also added: “In spite of a government shutdown, an ongoing pandemic, and other hurdles, RiverRenew is on track to meet its incredibly aggressive completion timetable. AlexRenew will continue to fulfill our vital mission to clean wastewater, working collaboratively with our community to solve our environmental challenges proactively and through effective local, long-term investments.”
Alexandria Renew Enterprises (AlexRenew), headed by a five-member city council, is a special purpose authority that has been representing the City of Alexandria and areas of Fairfax County for the last 60 years. At its water supply treatment center, located in the southwest quadrant of Alexandria, AlexRenew handles an average of 35 million gallons of waste water per day from more than 300,000 individuals.