Bronson Watermain Microtunnelling Project

The Project

In 2019 the City of Ottawa was installing of a new watermain directly through rock below one of the busiest streets in the city and directly under Highway 417.

The Solution

Microtunnelling is a trenching technique that combines the pipe jacking method into a remotely controlled, guided way of construction. Because of its extensive techniques, the overall process avoids the need to have open trenches for pipe laying ensuring there’s less destruction to the rest of the community.

Because the microtunnelling procedure involves a remotely-controlled steerable system to install pipes and cables at the ground surface, it only requires a small tunnel boring machine. As opposed to traditional open cut construction which can be destructive to the surrounding site, microtunnelling allows for a much more direct route.

The microtunnelling method is very friendly on the environment because of its cleaner process. Techniques used in the microtunnelling and pipe jacking process ensure quantities of both incoming and outgoing materials are reduced significantly. Not only is this less harsh on the surrounding environment, but it boosts the safety benefits for the workers too.

For the City of Ottawa project, an average production rate of 8 metres per day was achieved. This rate of production could not have been achieved with traditional open cut methods in rock. Ultimately, the project was completed on time, on budget and without any safety or environmental issues.

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