Microtunneling under Luke Wood Park underway as part of Lift Station 87 project

Construction of the facility planned to begin in July

Luke Wood Park in Sarasota is the focal point for the latest phases of the Lift Station 87 project. In 2014, equipment laid at the site, abandoned after the original contractor walked away from the undertaking. File photo

The Lift Station 87 contractor for the City of Sarasota began installing the second and final microtunnel segment the week of April 24, the city has announced.

“This work connects the Lift Station 87 site with the previously installed 36-inch wastewater main under Hudson Bayou and is critical to the success of the Lift Station 87 project,” a news release points out.

Crews launched the microtunnel boring machine from a 30-foot-deep shaft at the Lift Station 87 site in Luke Wood Park, the release adds. The contractor is using “precise instrumentation to guide the boring machine westward to a tunnel shaft adjacent to the intersection of Mound Street and South Osprey Avenue,” the release explains. The two pipelines will meet at this shaft, where a large manhole will be installed, the release says.

The first microtunnel pipeline — under Hudson Bayou — was completed successfully on March 14.

The microtunnel operation under Luke Wood Park has been anticipated to last three to four weeks. The contractor is working from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays, the release notes.

“Microtunneling is a specialized trenchless construction technique for installing pipelines under waterways, wetlands and roadways,” the release points out. “The heads on the end of the boring machine cut through the earth, which is removed as the tunnel is created,” it adds. The microtunnel boring machine advances 20 to 40 feet per day, depending on underground conditions. “As the tunnel is created, a 60-inch diameter protective steel casing is put in place,” the release notes. The new wastewater main will be installed inside the tunnel, which is approximately 30 feet below the park surface.

Construction of the Lift Station 87 building is scheduled to begin in July, the release says.

Lift Station 87 will replace Lift Station 7, located at 935 Pomelo Ave. After the entire project has been completed, wastewater flow will be redirected from Lift Station 7 to Lift Station 87.

For more information about the Lift Station 87 project, visit www.LiftStation87.com or call the project information line at 356-8071. Interested parties also may subscribe to email updates at www.egovlink.com/sarasota/subscriptions/subscribe.asp.