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MICROTUNNELING

OVERVIEW

Microtunnel Boring Machines (MTBMs) install gravity flow pipelines requiring precise line and grade in poor soil. Microtunneling is a non-manned, remote controlled, continuously supported pipe jacking method. Standard MTBMs are sized in the 30-96-in. (762-2,438 mm) OD range. Soil excavation takes place by way of infusing the soil with slurry at the face of the bore where cuttings are forced into slurry inlet holes in the MTBMs crushing cone for circulation to and from a separation plant through a closed system. A complete slurry microtunneling system is comprised of a pipe specific MTBM, control container, remote hydraulic power pack, keyhole jacking frame, a series of pumps, laser, water cooling tank, slurry trunk line and additional lines, and a slurry separation plant. The launch shaft is outfitted with a pit seal to prevent flooding of the shaft and a project specific thrust block to distribute jacking force. Microtunneling operations are managed by an operator in an above ground control container alongside of the shaft.