2015, September 24 - The new tunnel under Lake Mead is ready to perform its mission: quench the thirst of Las Vegas. After completing the tunnel flooding, Salini Impregilo, though its Vegas Tunnel Constructors (VTC), the joint-venture between the Group and its U.S subsidiary Healy S.A., pulled the bulkhead that separated Lake Mead from the new tunnel it had drilled under the artificial lake Lake Mead.
This is the latest milestone towards completing this record-breaking project awarded by the Southern Nevada Water Authority in 2008. Vegas Tunnel Constructors installed a new deep-water intake (known as Intake No. 3) at the bottom of Lake Mead and then, nearly 200 meters below ground, drill a 4.5-kilometer tunnel from the shore to intercept this underwater structure. The client will soon take control of the project and start drawing water from the intake pipe connecting the lake to the tunnel. It will then treat the water before sending it to the city and the surrounding region, ensuring the supply of nearly 4.5 million cubic meters of water every day.
The project, which set a new Salini Impregilo record in the engineering world by operating the tunnel-boring machine at hydrostatic pressure of 15 bar, required several technical innovations to be developed on site, representing a milestone in the history of both U.S. and Italian engineering.
Lake Mead intake hydraulic tunnel, Las Vegas
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