Lengthy Fusible Pipe Installed

By Aram Kalousdian, Editor | September 28, 2010

An approximately 2-mile long $4.6 million milling and asphalt resurfacing project on M-17 (Ecorse Road) in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township included pipe bursting and directional drilling a total of 7,000 feet of Underground Solution Inc.'s (UGSI) Fusible C-900 8-inch and 12-inch polyvinyl chloride (PVC) water main, and Fusible C-905 16-inch PVC water main.

"I think we ended up in one of our most difficult corridors within the Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township area. There are a lot of unknowns out there along Ecorse Road. There are all kinds of services and sewer laterals that we had no record of. Records were very spotty at best. I think we discovered a lot of them as the project went on. I believe that that section of the water system in Ypsilanti Township dates back to approximately World War II. The Ypsilanti portion is older than that," Scott D. Westover, P.E., engineering manager for the Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority (YCUA) said. The overall project was a Michigan Department of Transportation project; however the utility work was done for YCUA.

"We limited the water main installation to trenchless to try and keep the new pipe within the greenbelt where most of the existing pipe was. It was felt going in that the Fusible PVC was probably going to be the most cost-effective option for us," Westover said. The water main portion of the project was approximately $1.7 million.

The prime contractors for the project are Six-S Inc., of Waterford Township and C&G Meyers Construction, of Milford joint venture. Midwest Trenchless Services, of Grant provided directional drilling services. URS is the consulting firm for the project. Carrara Consulting is UGSI's representative.

UGSI's Fusible PVC pipe was selected for its ability to provide YCUA with a 200 psi PVC pipe with the added benefits of a gasket-less, leak free, fully restrained pipe system. The Fusible PVC is providing a new carrier pipe in place of the existing cast iron line, which was burst.

The directional drilling process provided minimal disruption to area businesses, Troy Freed, president of Midwest Trenchless Services said.

Equipment used on the project included a Vermeer 3344 directional drill and a Vermeer HammerHead HB 125, 125-ton static pipe bursting machine.

The project includes placing a total of approximately 14,000 tons of 4E3 leveling and 5E3 high-stress wear course hot mix asphalt on M-17. The project also includes pavement repair, intermittent curb and gutter replacement, storm sewer installation and installation of new sidewalks in the Ypsilanti Township portion of the project. The project began in April and it will be completed in November.


Project: Road and utility upgrades on M-17 in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township

Prime contractors: Six-S Inc. and C&G Meyers

Directional drilling subcontractor: Midwest Trenchless Services

Cost: $4.6 million