Campus Construction Update
July 19, 2021 Water Leak Repaired
As mentioned in our campus wide e-mail Admiralty Construction and our Facilities Services crew worked late Friday and got all the pipe installed and turned on the water service to Egan. Then on Saturday morning, they restored the water service to the rest of campus Saturday morning.
Leak caused by Rusted Pipe
This hole caused our water leak. This piece of the pipe has rusted to the point where it finally gave way causing the leak. The pipe is made from Ductile Iron and was installed in 1984, making it 37 years old. Ductile Iron pipe has a standard life span of 50 years. However, this can be significantly reduce depending on the corrosiveness of the soil, ground water level, construction methods, and stray electrical current. This leak was located right below a bank of electrical and communications lines. We suspect that it was the influence of these lines that shortened the lifespan of this piece of our water main.
New pipe installed ready for backfill
If the pipe was installed Friday evening, why not turn on the water to all of campus? Most underground pipes are different from the above ground pipes you would find in your house. They use a bell and spigot joint where the end of one pipe slides into the bell end of the next pipe. The dirt surrounding the pipe and/or concrete thrust blocks are used to keep the pipe from pulling apart when pressurized. They use these types of joints because of the ease of construction when in a narrow trench, their ability to flex/bend when the earth moves and the corrosion resistance the provide to the pipeline. Above ground pipes use joints that are rigidly connected together by wielding, bolting, gluing or with brackets. They are allows securely attached to the building to keep them from moving. They do make thrust restrained joints for underground pipe and we used these type of joints on the section of pipe we repaired. However, the joints beyond our repaired section are not thrust restrained and could slip while under pressure. In addition, it takes time to bleed all the air out of the pipe main line to reduce the amount of air that enters our pipes inside the building. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution to prevent additional damage to our water system, we postponed water services until Saturday morning after the pipe was backfilled and the line cleared of air.
Backfilling the water main
Saturday morning was spent backfilling the water line. Note the bright pink insulation placed between the communication vault and the waterline. During the winter, the inside of the communication vault can get cold because the top is right near the ground surface. This insulation will protect the waterline from freezing caused by the cold communication vault.
The Vac-Truck was just one of the heroes who helped get our campus up and running again. Our Facilities Crew, Administrative Team, and Admiralty Construction worked together on a short notice and schedule to have our campus back on line in less than 22 hours. Here is a good photo of the vac-truck using a stream of water to loosen the harden soil around the utilities, and then the vac-hose can pick up the soil and water at the bottom of the trench.
Water Leak Found 2021 -07-16
This morning the City and Borough of Juneau came to campus to help us locate the water leak. with their Electronic Underground Water Leak Detector. This device works in the same way a doctor listens to your heat beat. A sensitive microphone is set on the ground and the device lets you hear the water squirting out of the pipe. By moving the microphone to different places on the ground surface, you can get a good estimate where along the pipeline to dig and find the leak.
Once they marked a spot on the ground to start digging, we called the utility company to come locate underground electrical and communication lines. Murphy’s Law held true as the water leak is right where there are the most utilities to make excavation very difficult.
Lots of Under Ground Utilities
The Contractor, Admiralty Construction, used an excavator and Vac-Truck to dig an 8 feet deep hole. Vac-Trucks are a wonderful piece of equipment. They are a large vacuum that can suck up dirt, rocks, water and about anything that gets in its way. The Vac-Truck can suck up the dirt around the buried utilities, without damaging the utilities. The contractor would need to do a lot of hand digging if they did not have a Vac-Truck.
The Contractor found the hole in the pipe about noon. They had shut off two valves on the water main, one on each side of the hole. However, the valves would not seat properly and water continued to get by the valves. They tried several methods for re-seating the valves, but none of them worked.
The next valve in line we could use to get the water shut off for this section of pipe is on the other side of the Egan building. At about 1:00 pm we shut this valve off which also shut off the water to the Egan building. Un-fortunately, when shutting this valve down, the key connector striped making it impossible for us to open or close the valve. This required bringing another excavator on site and crew to excavate this valve and replace the key connector.
One More Valve
The next valve in line we could use to get the water shut off for this section of pipe is on the other side of Back Loop road at out pump house. Thankfully, this valve worked like is should and we got the water completely shut off. We notified the Forest Service Lab that we shut the pump house valve off which shuts off water service to their building.
The Admiralty Construction will be working late to get UAS back on line
Check back to see how the repair was actually made.
Today one of our crew noticed some water coming out of an equipment box near the Mourant building.
The box was not marked, so we did not know if there were live electrical lines in the box. We looked in into the archives and found that these boxes were for communication lines. This meant it was safe for us to open the boxes to see what was inside. Upon opening the boxes, we found the conduits were spares for future use. About 10 gpm of water was coming out of the conduits.
We know it has been a wet summer, but this still seemed odd to have water suddenly show up in these conduits. One possibility is that one of the recent earthquakes could have fractured one of the conduit joints allowing water to infiltrate the conduit.
Water travels the path of least resistance. Therefore, when you have a water leak it can show up almost anywhere downstream. Our crew did some more detective work looking for more clues. They looked into manholes, catch basins, and downhill slopes. Our senior mechanical technician checked our water flow valves and found that we were losing 100 gallons per minute (gpm) This told us that we had leak in our water main somewhere. After some more investigation, we found water pouring into one of the communication vaults and water in a waterline key hole. This water was draining thru a drainpipe in the communication vault into our storm drain system.
We closed the water main valve and it stopped the leak. Closing this valve also shut off the water for all of the lakeside buildings and JRP.
CBJ water department will be on camps Friday morning with some equipment that will help narrow down the location of the water leak.
We contacted Admiralty Construction to see if they a crew who could come repair our water line. Those of you who remember our last waterline leak a few years back, Admiralty Construction were very prompt in helping us repair the waterline. They said they have a crew they can pull off another project and work on our emergency repair. Their supervisor will be on site Friday morning also and will come up with a plan on where to start digging.
Until we dig up the pipe and find the leak, we will not know what parts are needed to repair the leak.
There are several pipe and connections currently available in Juneau. If those parts are, enough we should be able to restore water service by Monday or Tuesday. However, if we need to fly parts up from Seattle then this could delay the repair until the end of next week. Cross your fingers……
The UAS Shuttle Bus Service will be extended until May 12, 2017
This will provide service during Finals Week and give us time to figure out how many people will still need the service over the summer semester.
As a reminder, the DOT&PF highway project has closed pedestrian and bicycle access to the Anderson Building. Those wishing to get to the Anderson Building need to take the UAS Shuttle Bus. Bicyclists will need to lock their bikes on campus and take the Shuttle Bus.
The UAS shuttle makes a loop around campus and stops at the Anderson building about every 30 minutes. We have received a couple of comments in regards to busses not running on schedule. We will be working with our bus provider, First-Student, to improve service. Please visit the UAS shuttle bus web page for more information, including a neat shuttle tracker map that shows you exactly where the shuttle bus is right now. http://www.uas.alaska.edu/juneau/shuttle.html
Thank You or your patience.
Pedestrian route to the UAS Anderson building is changing starting Friday April 14, 2017.
DOT&PF and their contractor SECON are starting construction of the Glacier Highway reconstruction project and need to close off the sidewalk that leads to the Anderson Building. This means there will be no walking access to the Anderson Building. You can still get to the Anderson building using the UAS shuttle service or by automobile. This change in pedestrian access is expected to last most of the summer.
Please follow all construction signs and directions given by flaggers. Construction sites are dangerous places and we do not want any of our UAS community to get hurt.
The UAS shuttle makes a loop around campus and stops at the Anderson building about every 30 minutes. Please visit the UAS shuttle bus web page for more information, including a neat shuttle tracker map that shows you exactly where the shuttle bus is right now. http://www.uas.alaska.edu/juneau/shuttle.html
The Contractor has created a website page where they will post important updates about the project. http://fritztoseaview.com/ They also will pose updates to their Facebook page called SECON Glacier Hwy. Reconstruction- Fritz Cove Rd. to Seaview Ave.
The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities posts construction notices on their Alaska Navigator web page http://www.alaskanavigator.org/ or by calling 511 automated phone service.
Construction updates specific to UAS are posted to the UAS Facilities Construction Update webpage http://www.uas.alaska.edu/facilities_services/fpc/const-update.html
All of these sites give you the option to subscribe to a feed that will notify you every time there is an update.
Road Construction 2017
The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities will be rebuilding Glacier Highway from Fritz Cove Road to Seaview Ave. Their contractor SECON has already started preparatory work and in the coming weeks will have a full road crew working from 7am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday. The contractor will post weekly updates to their website www.fritztoseaview.com and Facebook page SECON Glacier Hwy Reconstruction Fritz Cove Rd to Seaview Ave.
Work during the 2017 season will only be taking place between Auke Lake and the Auke Bay Roundabout, work between the roundabout and Seaview Ave. will take place in 2018. (See drawing for clarification)
UAS Entrance Sign
UAS Construction Update for 12/09/2016
Glenn Saves the Day - Again
After discovering the two letters that were damaged during shipping, we were looking at a 3-4 week delay to get the manufacturer to fabricate some new ones. We decided to take the letters to Glenn Ramsey our UAS Maintenance/Welding Adjunct Professor/Handy-man and all around good guy. Glenn performed his magic and had them back to us the next day.
So you may ask, why are the fixed letters still sitting on my desk? Unfortunately the manufacturer did not ship all of the sign parts and we have had to wait for them to arrive. The Contractor thinks they will be ready to get back on this project early next week and be complete by the end of the week.
We have waited this long. I guess we can wait a little more. “Just like Christmas”
Nathan Leigh – UAS Project Manager
UAS Construction Update for 12/01/2016
Do it Right the First Time - UAS Entrance Sign
While unpacking the parts to our new UAS sign, we discovered that two of the letters were damaged during shipping.
The whole story can be told by just looking at the shipping crate.
The story would go something like this:
It had been a long week at the grind stone and “Todd” was tired and wanted just to get the job done and go home. Todd’s boss had been riding him for days now to pick up the pace or there would be no Christmas bonus. The shipping crate was very long, over 10-feet and the forks on Todd’s fork lift were only 4-feet long. Stopping to change over to the 8 foot long forks would take another 10 minutes. That’s 10 minutes that Todd couldn’t bear to take with so many other crates waiting to get loaded, the sound of Todd’s boss shouting in the background and the longing call of his reclining chair at home. Todd read the freight sticker and saw that the crate was very light and the crate was built out of OSB (Oriented Strand Board) which is tuff stuff. Have you ever tried to hammer a nail through OSB? Todd figured he could gently lift the crate without switching to the longer forks. So Todd picked up the crate and all was going well until he heard a loud “POP”. Todd loaded the crate, finished his shift and went home without telling anyone.
The POP that Todd heard was the tips of the forks on the fork lift punching through the OSB and damaging some letters of our UAS Sign. OSB is made by gluing small shavings of wood together and it is very tough. However, when it does break, it does so without warning like a piece of chalk snapping. So there would be no warning sounds coming from the crate before it was too late. Todd may have save himself 10 minutes, but it will now cost the Manufacturer, Freight Company, Insurance Company and UAS much more time and money to fix the couple of damaged letters.
The moral of the story: Do it right the first time.
The Contractor is now installing the remaining sign letters next week the electrician will wire it all up. Please be patient if our sign is missing a couple of letters until we can get them repaired or replaced.
Contact Nathan Leigh with any questions firstname.lastname@example.org
UAS Construction Update for 08/26/2016
UAS Entrance Sign
Our Contractor will be starting to work on a new UAS sign at our entrance off Back Loop Road. The existing UAS sign has been there for more years than most of us can remember. It has served UAS well and now deserves an opportunity to be recycled into something new.
UAS committed to building a new sign more than 5 years ago and it has taken this long to obtain the necessary permits and approvals. We are excited that this project is becoming a reality and know that it will strengthen UAS’ presence in our community. Please keep a watch for construction near the Back Loop Road and Auke Lake Way intersection until mid-October when the project is scheduled to be complete.
Contact Nathan Leigh with any questions email@example.com
UAS Construction Update for 05/07/2016
A Long Day
What started out as one day’s work has turned into more....... Construction on the UAS waterline repair started early Thursday morning with high hopes of making the repair by the end of the day. However, wet weather, a maze of other underground utilities and a bunch of concrete that had to be hand chiseled away from a pipe connection stretched the project out until 6:00 PM Friday before we could get the water turned back on to Hendrickson Building, Soboleff Building, Hendrickson Annex, and Soboleff Annex.
Just when the work crew was ready to head home for a hot meal and warm shower, UAS experienced another waterline break that shut down the water to the John R. Pugh residence hall. What a disappointment…. Sort of like making the winning goal, only to have it recalled due to a penalty. Or like hiking the Chilkoot and getting to Bennett Lake Lodge just to find out they ran out of stew and sourdough rolls. It was a long day.
Good news is that the John R. Pugh Residence Hall is the only building affected and we have 7 days before the summer guests start showing up. This is plenty of time to make another repair to the waterline. A big Thank You goes out to the Admiralty Construction Crew for working long hard hours to get our Campus back on line. Below are some photos of their work.
Start of the Trench Excavation
Pump in the bottom of the trench keeps water out of the trench. The Contractor also had two additional pumps just uphill pumping water around the trench.
Two new pieces of pipe were installed, One 20-foot section and a 4-foot section. This required 5 connections with 14 tension bolts and 14 compression bolts each for a total of 140 bolts that needed to be installed. Tightening the bottom bolts are always difficult.
Exothermic Welding of Wire from Cathodic Protection to Waterline.
Exothermic welding is a welding technique that uses an exothermic reaction of a thermite composition to heat a base metal to a molten mass that permanently bonds the wire to the pipe. This process requires no external source of heat or electricity.
Example of Exothermic Welding Device
Construction Site Shut Down for the Weekend