• Corporate HQ, NY
  • Melville, NY
  • Iselin, NJ
  • Ossining, NY
  • Mount Laurel, NJ

Blue Plains Tunnel


The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) has been implementing its $2.6 billion long-term control plan for combined sewer overflows (CSOs), known as the DC Clean Rivers Project (DCCR), since 2012. The DCCR is comprised of 20 miles of 23-foot-diameter tunnels at depths from 50 to 160 feet. The system will capture CSOs and convey them to the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant prior to discharge to the Potomac River.

The Blue Plains Tunnel is a 120-foot-deep, 24,300-foot-long pioneer segment of the deep tunnel system, running under and adjacent to the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers.

HAKS, as a member of the owner's representative/consultant construction management (CCM) team, inspected the $319 million design-build project, including five deep shafts; a 132-foot-diameter dewatering shaft; a 76-foot-diameter screening shaft; and three 50- to 55-foot-diameter drop/overflow shafts along the 4.5-mile tunnel alignment at the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, the Poplar Point Junction Shaft, and the Main Pumping Station.

CCM team members worked closely with the design-build team to ensure that the underground works were constructed under project quality assurance guidelines. Effective coordination between the design-build contractor and the CCM team was critical to project success.

The award-winning project was built $11 million under budget.  Industry recognition included the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association's 2013 Technical Innovation of the Year Award for shaft design and construction as well as Engineering News-Record’s 2016 Best Project Overall for the Mid-Atlantic region and Project of the Year in the Water/Environment category.