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First Street Tunnel


2036 First Street Northwest, Washington, DC, USA

Project owner: mario

Project Overview
Project Name: First Street Tunnel
Date Completed: 2016
Location: 2036 First Street Northwest, Washington, DC, USA
Project Status: Complete
Project Type: Building/StructuralWater/Environmental

Project Team

Disciplines That Worked on Project

Civil Engineer: GeotechnicalCivil Engineer: Structural (Site design structures)Environmental Engineer

Project Details
About this project
The Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park neighborhoods in Washington DC flooded frequently since they are located in a low-lying area. DC Water did this project to reduce flooding by constructing a 20-foot diameter tunnel that is 2,700 feet (0.5 mile) long. The tunnel stores 9 million gallons of rainwater, which is the amount of water in 14 Olympic sized swimming pools. The tunnel stores the rainwater so it does not flood the streets or soak basements. The water in the tunnel is then pumped to DC sewer system.
Who benefits from this project, and how?
The residents of the Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park neighborhoods now have a reduced chance of flooding due to the project. Before the tunnel, residents had a 50 percent chance of being flooding in any given year. After construction of the tunnel, residents had a 15 percent chance of flooding in any given year.
Environmental considerations
The tunnel was constructed under the city’s streets. Due to high groundwater in the area, normally the excavation would fill up with groundwater. Instead, they froze the ground. This converted the water in the soil to ice and created ice walls up to 10 feet thick that allowed them to safely excavate the tunnel. Using ground freezing meant less noise, vibration, and other disturbance to the neighbors.
What's unique about this project?
The projected used a massive tunnel boring machine called “Lucy”. This machine cost $8.5M and on average tunneled 18 feet each day. Natural disasters happen all over the world, a lifetime of dedication,money,work hours and memories that reminisce in someone's property can all be destroyed by a flood in the case of Bloomingdale occupants..Even so it can be prevented by who? The government,society,your community, or an organization? Well its all of the above for Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park residence.The "DC waters" official website has multiple supporting websites and resources, from " .gov, .org, .net," etc.

Funding & Costs
Funding source: Public
Funding notes: The project was paid for by the DC Water rate payers

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