October 6th, 2020 saw the Atkinson/Technique Joint Venture complete tunnelling on a short drive through 109m (356’) of varying stiff clays, saprolite and mylonite for the City of Atlanta’s Water Supply Project Phase II. On July 1st, 2020, the JV had entered into a contract with Kelley Engineered Equipment (KEE) for the supply of a 2.3m (90.25”) diameter digger shield used on the drive. On August 15th, just six weeks later, the machine was on site and ready to work and averaged some 1.6m (5.3’) per day, the distance needed to install 4 rings of liner plate.
This undertaking connects a new 12.9Mm³ emergency drinking water reservoir to a new treatment plant. However, the shield’s most important job was to provide the required Cooper E-80 Loading support under 47m (154”) of the CSX railroad passing intermittently overhead with cover as low as 4.6m (15’).
In addition to thrust and steering systems, the unit was designed with special features to expedite assembly and disassembly in the heading. After the collapsed shield was lowered down a 9.1m (30’) diameter shaft, it was transported through an existing pre-lined tunnel and assembled at the mining site. The shield was assembled within these liner panels and thrust off smaller ID panels that were erected within the safety of the shield.
Fabrication, workshop assembly and factory acceptance testing were performed at KEE’s longtime partner, Wolf Hills Fabricators, LLC in Abingdon, VA. Wolf Hills supplied exceptional quality and were instrumental in achieving the very quick delivery.
Atkinson Construction’s Konner Horton was quoted as thanking KEE for “a machine that worked great and getting it done for us so quickly”