This project presented many unique challenges, not the least of which was its elevation at 10,300 feet above sea level, which meant that the warm weather required for this type of construction would not last long, and the project would need to be completed before water run-off events that would occur inevitably in the Spring months. Limited access to the site made conventional methods, such as barrel mixers, virtually impossible. This meant the project was on an extremely tight schedule.
The design-build team chose to construct an eight-foot-diameter, 765-foot curved tunnel through the mountain with a 60-inch carrier pipe. In order for this tunnel to remain stable, the annular space between the tunnel and the carrier pipe had to be filled with a non-pervious material that offered extreme compressive strength. Aerix’s Aerlite cellular lightweight concrete (CLWC) was chosen for this unique application. The installation crew from Flashfill Services installed 1,000 cubic yards of Aerlite within five short days on the jobsite, enabling tunnel construction to remain on schedule.