Proactive approach to addressing environmental concerns for tunneling under Austin
Mining Engineering, 2012, Vol. 64, No. 9, pp. 187-194
Brainard, Ray; Haynes, Clay; Long, Stacie; Smith, Robyn
The Jollyville Transmission Main will be a 10.5-km- (6.5-mile)-long, 213-cm (84-in.) diameter rock tunnel. The tunnel will pass beneath the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, which was established to protect two endangered bird species, six endangered cave invertebrates and a threatened salamander. To address the sensitive habitat that the transmission main is to pass through, the city of Austin developed an environmental commissioning (EC) process that brought together environmental engineers and scientists, the city’s project management team and the designer team to work collaboratively to meet the city’s goals of producing a cost-effective design while also protecting the environment. This paper describes the environmental commissioning process and the benefits it brought to the project and environment through some unique environmental mitigation measures to protect this sensitive area.