LOS ANGELES (August 24, 2017) – The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) was honored recently with two awards from the American Society of Civil Engineers, Metropolitan Los Angeles Branch, for its work on the City Trunk Line South SEM Tunnel Project.
LADWP received the Outstanding Water Project and Outstanding Construction Project honors from the esteemed professional organization at its Awards Night on Friday, August 4 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Both awards recognized the Tunnel Project, which employed an innovative method of tunneling not usually done in the water industry.
LADWP General Manager David H. Wright said, “We’ve always known that our employees are among the best in the industry, and to be recognized by their own peers confirms that. I am beyond proud of their accomplishments and congratulate them for yet another trailblazing method that ensures reliable water and excellent customer service.”
“We’re extremely proud to receive these awards,” said Richard Harasick, LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager, Water. “LADWP has always been committed to hard work, dedication and ingenuity when it comes to challenging projects like this one, and we thank the American Society of Civil Engineers for this recognition.”
The LADWP City Trunk Line South SEM Tunnel Project involved the digging of a tunnel 252 feet in length under the Tujunga Wash, which connects to the LA River. The tunnel is part of the new City Trunk Line South, which is 48,000 feet in length. The entire City Trunk Line, North and South portions, extends from the LA Reservoir to the Franklin Reservoir and provides water to the Mid-City area.
The Tunnel Project began in July, 2016 and was completed in May, 2017. LADWP used the Sequential Excavation Method (SEM), otherwise known as the New Austrian Tunneling Method. It is referred to as a “design as you go” or “design as you monitor” method because it allows engineers and construction crews to evaluate soil conditions as the tunneling is happening. The method is used often in the transportation industry. It was used on this LADWP Water System project in order to exercise caution around bridge abutment piles near the tunneling path.
The City Trunk Line projects are part of a larger effort to replace the original City Trunk Line, which was built in 1914 with riveted steel pipe. The City Trunk Line is yet another component in the Department’s mission to improve reliability in the Water System and provide safe drinking water to our customers.
The LADWP team members involved in the Tunnel Project included Philip Lau and Ruwanka Purasinghe, Geotechnical Engineering Group; Elene Chong, Kaushal Parbhoo and Randall Hirata, Trunk Line Design; John Huynh, Regina Peng and Christopher Munis, Project Management; and Richard Cabajal, Manuel Longoria and Kevin Thomas, Construction Management.
The LADWP winners will now be placed in a pool along with other area winners from Southern California to compete for the Society’s regional awards, which will be announced in October.
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