February 26, 2015 - Salini Impregilo project at Lake Mead, involving the construction of a system for collecting and transporting the waters of Lake Mead near Las Vegas, appears on the cover of Tunneling Journal, U.S. publication that focuses on tunnels and underground constructions. The magazine dedicates an eight-page article to the project, entitled "The Legacy of Lake Mead: Making Tunneling History in Southern Nevada".
In the article, which emphasizes the pioneering work under the lake, Project Manager Jim Nickerson describes the Project's features, the challenges faced and how they were resolved.
The contract, valued at Euro 371 million and assigned to Vegas Tunnel Constructors (VTC), a joint-venture between Salini Impregilo and its U.S. subsidiary SA Healy, entailed the construction of a new intake pipe to draw water from the lake. A 3-mile tunnel now completed.
The TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine) used for excavating the Lake Mead tunnel is the only prototype of its kind in the world and has been designed and built to withstand 17 bar of pressure (it has so far excavated up to 15 bar, a world record).
The project reached a historical milestone with the breakthrough in December 2014, when the US$ 25-million drilling machine reached the intake pipe that had been installed in the middle of the lake bed.
The tunnel system is capable of transferring 4.5 million cubic meters of water per day to Las Vegas for drinking, washing and other domestic uses.
Tunneling Journal: "The legacy of Lake Mead: Making tunneling history in Southern Nevada"