One City’s Holistic Perspective on Infrastructure Improvements
The City of Chicopee has been a longstanding client, beginning with the design of Chicopee’s wastewater treatment plant and most of its major sewers in the 1960’s through the mid 1970s. Although additional projects continued in the subsequent 20 years, our involvement really started to heat up in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pushed communities throughout the U.S. to decrease discharges from combined sewers (sanitary sewage mixed with storm water) into the nation’s rivers and streams.
Large Scale Sewer Separation Projects
Our team provided design and construction services for multiple, large-scale sewer separation projects, involving installation of sanitary sewer and storm drains. Often, these projects were constructed concurrently, resulting in as many as 15 construction crews, requiring continuous coordination among the contractors, city departments, police, school and busing officials, private utilities, as well as businesses and residents.
The projects involved installation of multiple pipes along congested streets, deep excavations, replacement of water mains, complex utility conflict resolutions, unfavorable soil and groundwater conditions, directional drilling, jacking, cured-in-place pipe lining of existing pipes, construction of stormwater detention and infiltration facilities, and work within contaminated areas.
A Holistic Approach
Throughout the course of these projects, the City’s approach to rehabilitating or replacing the City’s pipe infrastructure has evolved to take on a more holistic perspective, with specific emphasis on road restoration.
Since road restoration can typically cost 20 to 25% of the overall cost on sewer separation projects, Tighe & Bond has developed, and the City has incorporated into its later construction contracts, an enhanced pavement restoration program that provides greater service life for new roads, thereby providing better value for the City. This enhanced program includes full-width, full-depth pavement restoration, reclamation, road grade adjustments to improve runoff collection, and implementation of temperature and compaction monitoring and documentation equipment. It also includes thermal imaging cameras, and GIS-based Intelligent Compaction technology.
Over the past 10 years, Tighe & Bond has provided more than $20 million of engineering services to the City of Chicopee as part of their ongoing sewer separation program. Sewer pipe sizes ranged between 8-inches and 24-inches in diameter, storm drain pipe sizes ranged between 12-inches and 60-inches in diameter, and water pipe sizes ranged between 8-inches and 30-inches in diameter.
Our range of services for these infrastructure improvements includes: sewer separation design and construction, as well as roadway reconstruction. Other projects for the City of Chicopee have included water main modeling and design, water and wastewater treatment plant improvements, pump station upgrades, GIS, regulatory compliance, environmental permitting, dam inspections, site and building hazardous materials assessment, and fuel storage tank replacements.