When Michael Fitzner’s suggestion of “Bumblebee” won the contest in 2018 to name the machine boring MSD’s four-mile long Waterway Protection Tunnel, he was awarded a chance to go into the tunnel with five coworkers. On December 5, Fitzner, with Latoya English, Adonis Henderson, Patrick Meador, Cemal Mitchell and Kayla Sheckell, loaded into a large metal cage and were lowered 220 feet down the working shaft into the tunnel via a crane.
The Kentucky Science Center’s Engineering Days on February 8 offered students an opportunity to speak one-on-one with engineering professionals who imagine, design and create the world around us. MSD’s Waterway Protection Tunnel Project Manager Jacob Mathis spoke with students from across the region about MSD’s largest project in our history.
The legacy of Louisville’s own Muhammad Ali continues to live on as the name “Bumblebee” was unveiled for the MSD tunnel boring machine, which will excavate MSD’s Waterway Protection Tunnel underneath Louisville.
A trip to Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania, about an hour southeast of Pittsburgh, gave MSD Engineer and Project Manager Jacob Mathis, P.E. and Engineering-Collections System and Construction Manager Greg Powell, P.E. an opportunity to see the tunnel boring machine that will create the Waterway Protection Tunnel. Mt. Pleasant is where tunnel contractor J.F. Shea Co., Inc. operates a facility to rebuild and test tunnel boring machines prior to shipping to a project site.
MSD held a Public Outreach Meeting August 28th to share an update on the 1.5 mile extension of the Waterway Protection Tunnel and the elimination of the I-64 & Grinstead CSO Basin. Area residents were given the opportunity to ask questions about the extension and the project in general.
MSD contractors working to build a massive underground tunnel to prevent wastewater and stormwater from overflowing and entering the Ohio River and Beargrass Creek have reached a significant milestone. The “working” and pump station shafts — which will carry workers and equipment underground — have reached their full depth of 220 feet below the surface.
MSD’s project to build a tunnel 18 stories underground for wastewater and stormwater storage has also unearthed hundreds of millions of years of history.
MSD’s project to build a massive tunnel 18 stories underground to help keep millions of gallons of sewage out of the Ohio River and Beargrass Creek will be expanded to capture even more wastewater and stormwater overflow – and eliminate the need for a planned storage basin project.
Jacob L. Mathis, P.E.
Waterway Protection Tunnel
Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering
Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana)
Jacobi, Toombs and Lanz Inc.
Mindel Scott & Associates, Inc
HOW HE BECAME AN ENGINEER:
More than 2 billion gallons of rainwater and wastewater overflow into local waterways each year. Thankfully, construction is underway on MSD’s $200 million Waterway Protection Tunnel that is designed to mitigate this problem.
The tunnel – planned for completion in 2020 – is an innovative way to store this overflow of rainwater and wastewater underground until it can be pumped to MSD’s Morris Forman Water Quality Treatment Center. It will be able to store up to 37 million gallons of combined rainwater and wastewater when complete.