Tunnel Provides USU with Utility Distribution System

Stanley Consultants provided comprehensive design services for a new 6,200-foot utility tunnel at the Utah State University.

Utah State University's aging steam distribution system had dropped to a 60 percent condensate return and was plagued with hard-to-locate and hard-to-repair leaks.  The university was daily losing 30,000 gallons of treated water through worn out buried pipes.  An infrastructure replacement study, conducted by Stanley Consultants, recommended the selection of a cast-in-place concrete tunnel as the basis for a new utility distribution system.  

Rather than disrupt campus life for several years by constructing the tunnel in segments, Utah State University (USU) opted for an extremely compressed schedule to design and construct the 6,200-foot long tunnel in one fell swoop.  The $22.2 million design-build project went from conception to final product in just over 18 months. 

The 1.2 mile long tunnel is 10 feet tall by 9 ½ feet wide.  It was designed to be spacious, always allowing at least four feet of clear walkway space with no steps or obstacles.  This allows maintenance personnel to utilize a tool cart throughout the length of the tunnel system.  It accommodates two 14-inch steam lines; two 8-inch condensate lines; one 12-inch water line; two future 24-inch chilled water lines; and future communications and electrical distribution cable trays.  Stanley Consultants provided comprehensive design services for the project led by Whitaker Construction, the general contractor. 

The tunnel not only forms the "backbone" for the campus steam distribution system, it also carries the life blood of the University which includes: electrical power lines, communication lines, water lines and other utilities essential for day-to-day operations.