Thornton Composite Reservoir

Connecting Tunnels and Gates
Location: 
Thornton, Illinois
Client: 
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
Architect: 
Harza Engineering Company
Contract Value: 
$24,400,000
Year Completed: 
2014
Expertise: 

Atkinson served as a subcontractor on the Connecting Tunnels and Gates Thornton Composite Reservoir project. The project linked an existing underground sewer system to the Thornton Quarry through connecting tunnels and a gate shaft. The quarry acts as a temporary holding reservoir for waste water prior to being treated and released into Lake Michigan.

Atkinson completed their scope of work in two phases. Phase One, which lasted approximately 18 months, consisted of the excavation of a 63-foot-diameter shaft through 14 feet of common overburden, as well as the drill and blast excavation of 335 feet of hard rock. This phase also included drill and blast excavation of a 215-linear-foot, 60-foot-wide-by-40-foot-high bifurcation chamber, and 970 linear feet of a 33-foot-diameter horseshoe drift. The excavation was supported using a combination of resin-grouted dowels and rock bolts along with fiber-reinforced shotcrete.

During Phase Two of the project, Atkinson performed drill and blast excavation of a 50-foot-by-33-foot tunnel connection and place 70 feet of 30-foot-diameter reinforced concrete lining. Crews accessed Phase Two through an existing 340-foot-deep-by-30-foot-diameter shaft.