Alexandria's RiverRenew Tunnel Program Dredge News

Milestone Achievement: Completion of the 2.2-Mile Sewer Tunnel

In Alexandria, Virginia, the RiverRenew Tunnel Program has reached a significant milestone with the completion of a 2.2-mile underground sewer tunnel in Old Town. According to the dredging news, This monumental project, costing $454.4 million, is reshaping the city’s infrastructure to protect the Potomac River from sewage contamination and promote environmental conservation.

Named Hazel, the tunnel-boring machine responsible for this feat has concluded its 16-month excavation journey, marking a pivotal moment in Alexandria’s commitment to public health and sustainability. This initiative, the largest infrastructure development in Alexandria’s history, aims to replace the outdated 19th-century combined sewer system in Old Town with modernized infrastructure, including a tunnel network and sewer enhancements stretching from Old Town to the AlexRenew wastewater treatment plant.

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Environmental Impact: Protecting the Potomac River

Mayor Justin Wilson has hailed this achievement as a critical step forward in safeguarding the local environment and enhancing public health. However, it’s important to note that the project’s completion does not signify its conclusion. Originally scheduled for completion by 2025, unforeseen challenges such as supply chain disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and conflicts in Ukraine have prompted an extension of the deadline to 2026 by the Virginia General Assembly.

Next Steps: Construction of the Pumping Station

The next phase of the project involves constructing a pumping station capable of handling vast quantities of wastewater. With an initial pumping capacity of 20 million gallons per day, scaling up to 180 million gallons per day upon full operation, this pumping station is integral to the success of the RiverRenew initiative. Justin Carl, CEO of AlexRenew, emphasizes the importance of meticulous planning to mitigate potential delays in equipment procurement and avoid further extensions from the General Assembly.

The completion of the 2.2-mile underground sewer tunnel is a testament to Alexandria’s dedication to addressing environmental challenges and building a sustainable future. As the city continues its journey towards urban development, collaboration and perseverance remain essential. Alexandria is poised to overcome any obstacles in its path towards a cleaner, greener future.

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