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of tunnels and over 741,000 Feet of small diameter pipe.
Cellular Concrete Backfill for Upgrade of Ephraim Tunnel, Utah
In late Summer of 2018, Pacific International Grout Company (PIGCO) contracted with James W. Fowler Company (JWF) to backfill grout a new pressure sensitive 54-inch galvanized and poly-lined steel pipe in Ephraim, Utah. The tunnel, which runs 1.5 miles from east to west through the middle of one of the mountains in the Wasatch Plateau, was constructed in 1937 by the Bureau of Reclamation. It was originally a 78-inch horseshoe tunnel constructed using a combination of timber, concrete and bald faced. Through the years the tunnel was slowly caving away. The tunnel was designed to capture snow melt on the east side of the mountain, supplying critical irrigation and culinary water to the city on the west side.
JWF hired PIGCO to backfill the pipe. The project window was very narrow, August through early November, which added additional complexity. The tunnel length was approximately 7,200 lineal feet and port access was approximately another 2,500 lineal feet away, resulting in a total pumping distance of approximately 9,700 feet. To further complicate logistics, PIGCO had to put a 3,500-foot loop in the grout hose to deal with ground water. Ultimately, PIGCO was required to pump over 9,000 feet of cellular concrete backfill for several days. The grouting was successfully completed in mid-November 2018. Temperatures had dropped to a low of -3 0 F and snow had accumulated to a height of 4 feet.
Without assistance from the JWF crew and the local Ephraim labor force, grouting in the inclement weather atop a mountain 10,000 feet in elevation and pumping over 9,000 feet, this project could not have been completed in time to furnish water to the Irrigation District in the Summer of 2019.