Several noteworthy design elements were incorporated into the Lower Meramec Tunnel project to accommodate environmental requirements for the project.
A previously abandoned wastewater lagoon located near the tunneling site was re-purposed for the storage of approximately 352,000 cubic yards of excavated rock, known as tunnel muck.
“This re-purposed lagoon eliminates 29,300 dump truck trips, saving local roadways from the wear and tear of these trips,” Litton said. “Together with reductions in fuel consumption and truck handling, this will provide significant reductions to the project’s carbon footprint.”
Additionally, fiberglass reinforced pipe was specified to accommodate a planned 100-year life cycle for the tunnel, which is inherently longer lasting and more sustainable as compared to other alternatives considered.
The project is using funds from Missouri’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF), a loan program that provides low-interest financing to construct wastewater and stormwater projects that improve water quality. At the time of bidding, the Lower Meramec Tunnel was the largest SRF project in Missouri history.
To reach this point required significant collaboration between all stakeholders in the project throughout the design, as well as coordination with several utilities, agencies and municipalities. Throughout the design phase, public meetings were held to discuss homeowner concerns along the project corridor.
Litton has appreciated the opportunity to work on a project that will have a major impact on the health and safety of his community.
“I enjoy contributing to projects with grand ambition and those that provide tangible benefits to the environment and community,” Litton said. “I’ve personally skied, fished and kayaked the Meramec River and am grateful to be involved in Project Clear. I am incredibly proud to be involved in such a wonderful project with an amazing team that will ultimately help to improve the rivers and streams in my hometown.”
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