Calumet River Direct Pipe
- Location Illinois
MethodsDirect Pipe, horizontal curve
Michels successfully installed 1,530 feet of 36-inch diameter steel pipeline underneath of the Calumet River just south of Chicago, IL.
In 1959, the Calumet #3 transmission line was constructed to provide a natural gas supply to the industrial and residential customers populating the growing city at the time. By 2013, the pipeline needed to be updated and retrofitted through a number of identified project locations. Even though horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is often the trenchless technology of choice, based on soil boring data acquired during the project planning phase, the Direct Pipe installation method was determined to be the best approach for our customer’s project.
Direct Pipe combines a pipe thruster and tunneling machine, allowing a borehole to be created and pre-fabricated pipeline inserted in one continuous step. Originally introduced in Germany, Michels is one of the only Direct Pipe contractors that has employed Direct Pipe on both US and Canada projects.
Michels is one of the largest horizontal directional drilling contractors in North America yet for this natural gas pipeline replacement project, we used Direct Pipe technology to execute the challenging trenchless installation. The project included a 9.32-degree horizontal curve implemented at a 3,000-foot radius and 7-degree entry and exit angles.
- Completion of the Direct Pipe installation allowed for the decommissioning of an existing facility within a tunnel structure that previously had created challenges for inline inspections and warranted costly inspection and maintenance programs
- Utilization of Direct Pipe while being a proven installation, further advanced the technology for other natural gas utilities to follow.
- The project ended both ahead of time and under budget based on the collaborative partnership formed to execute the complex installation with the new Direct Pipe trenchless technology.
- Safety: 0 OSHA or LTI, 0 first aid
To read our customer’s full feature in Trenchless for Gas Infrastructure, visit NASTT.org