Trenchless Construction On Land and Underwater: Port of Miami Channel

Client: Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department
Location: Miami, FL

Hazen and Sawyer is providing fast-track design-build services to deepen the Port of Miami Channel to accommodate “New Panamax” ships allowed by the deepened Panama Canal. The project features the installation of an 1,800 LF, 24-inch horizontal directional drill water main and an 1,100 LF, 72-inch steel-lined microtunnel that carries a new 54-inch wastewater force main below the Port of Miami channel.

The impetus for this project is the deepening of the Panama Canal, which will ultimately result in larger, “New Panamax” ships engaged in commerce, hence requiring deeper ports.

An 1,100 LF, 72-inch steel-lined microtunnel under the Port of Miami Channel is a key component of the overall project.

New 54-inch diameter sewage force main at Fisher Island will replace the existing force main that transmits wastewater to the County’s Central District Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Project Outcomes and Benefits

  • Fast-track design-build of 100’ deep and 1,500’ long 24” diameter horizontal direction drill from the Port of Miami to Fisher Island to replace an existing 20” water main and a 72” diameter microtunnel.
  • New 54” diameter sewage force main will replace the existing force main that transmits wastewater from Miami Beach, Surfside and Bal Harbor to the County’s Central District Wastewater Treatment Plant on Virginia Key.
  • Challenges being overcome include constrained work areas due to the land uses at both ends, preventing loss of drilling fluid, and maintaining entrance and exit stability.
  • Existing utilities were lowered before the dredging operation commenced.
  • 13' and 20' diameter force main shaft designs by Hazen and Sawyer have four built-in unique water tightness features – an external grout column, a secant pile shaft structure, a grouted annulus and a steel can liner, all working together to form a 100' deep water tight structure.