San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Selects Shank, Balfour & Beatty JV for New Bypass Tunnel

Oct. 24, 2008
Project is one of 85 within the SFPUC’s $4.3 billion Water System Improvement Program

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) awarded the construction contract for the New Crystal Springs Bypass Tunnel project to Shank/Balfour Beatty, JV (S/BB), joint venture tunneling partners. The $55,674,000 contract will install a 4,200-ft-long, 8-ft-finished-diameter tunnel at a critical juncture in the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System.

The project is one of 85 projects within the SFPUC’s $4.3 billion Water System Improvement Program (WSIP), and the first of the major regional construction contracts associated with 50 regional projects in seven counties that will be let before this major infrastructure program is completed in 2014.

S/BB is a joint venture of M.L. Shank Co., Inc. and Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc. The joint venture team has worked together on tunneling projects for 15 years. Most recently, the team has been finishing up work on the North Dorchester Bay CSO Tunnel in South Boston, Mass. The 10,800-ft tunnel was constructed adjacent to Boston Harbor and is expected to be complete this fall.

M.L.Shank Co. of Highlands, Calif., the onsite manager partner, has been in the tunnel building business since the mid-1980s. Balfour Beatty is a leading infrastructure provider, providing design, project management, construction and engineering services to customers around the world.

“We are pleased to be working with these nationally known tunneling contractors for this important bypass tunnel that brings water through San Mateo County into San Francisco,” said Husam Masri, senior project manager for the WSIP San Francisco Peninsula Region.

“The prequalification program, established in response to feedback from the contracting community, is indeed helping us attract some of the country's top contracting firms to work on WSIP projects,” added Julie Labonte, WSIP director.

This seismic improvement tunnel project is due to commence in December 2008 and continue through mid-2011. Jacobs Associates of San Francisco, selected earlier this year, will serve as the construction management firm assisting the SFPUC.

For more information about the WSIP and this project, go to

Source: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

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