Black & Veatch announced the formation of a tunneling department within its Water Americas division to formalize an alignment of Black & Veatch talents with utility clients underground needs. The organizational change consolidates the companys tunneling and geoengineering expertise in one business unit, which will be responsible for stand-alone heavy civil-engineering projects, particularly tunnels and dams.
David Egger, a Black & Veatch vice president, will lead the team of geologists, geotechnical engineers, mining engineers and civil engineers. Egger has managed numerous water and wastewater tunneling projects throughout the United States in his 21-year career with Black & Veatch.
Driven by continued population growth in urban areas, new water quality regulations and aging infrastructure, the demand for tunneling design and construction assistance by water and wastewater utilities and cities has significantly increased over the past decade.
Many cities and utilities view tunneling as a solution to regulatory requirements in the combined sewer overflow (CSO) and sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) arenas. Aging and undersized sewer systems can overflow during storm events, resulting in detrimental runoff to local waterways. Tunneling can provide diversion, transportation and storage during such events and bring utilities into regulatory compliance.
Tunneling structures also provide for uninterrupted fresh water delivery for forward-thinking communities. In addition, tunneling offers an attractive alternative to aboveground construction because it minimizes impacts to neighborhoods, businesses, wildlife and downstream recreational uses.