Skip to content
March 23, 2021

Preparing AlexRenew’s Campus for the RiverRenew Tunnel Project

The decommissioning and demolition of Building J is an essential step toward making space for the Tunnel Project.

Update: March 23

Equipped with 20,000 tons of soil, our construction partners have completed one of the last steps of the Building J Facilities Relocation and Decommissioning Project.

The team conducted backfill operations to level the ground where Building J once stood. First, conveyors screened the soil to remove pieces of gravel larger than 1/2 inch — or the diameter of a marble. Removing these gravel pieces allows the soil to compact correctly, preventing settling or sagging in the backfilled area. The larger gravel pieces were hauled away to be repurposed at a different construction site, and the remaining tons of soil were spread over the vacant area.

Following these steps allows for a smooth and stable surface to be constructed on the former grounds of Building J. From here, we'll dig two large shafts where we'll launch our TBM, begin building the Waterfront Tunnel, and eventually construct AlexRenew's new pumping station.

Update: February 2

After 35 days of activity, the Building J demolition is now complete, making way for RiverRenew construction to take place at AlexRenew’s Water Resource Recovery Facility.

Work to demolish the former lab, locker room, and office facilities began on November 25, 2020. Using excavators with hydraulic hammer and grapple attachments, AlexRenew construction partners demolished the above-ground portion of the structure in 10 days, and fully demolished the building substructure in 25 days. Over 4,000 tons of materials, including 2,500 tons of recyclable steel, were hauled offsite.

Crews will now begin backfill operations to fill the excavation with 20,000 tons of soil. This critical last step creates a stabilized surface for our design-build partner, Traylor-Shea, to stage and begin construction for the Waterfront Tunnel and future pumping station.

To pave the way for the Tunnel Project, an existing building on AlexRenew’s campus, known as Building J, must be demolished.

Building J housed AlexRenew’s laboratory, locker rooms, and other facilities for over 20 years. Following the relocation of AlexRenew’s essential workers and facilities to Buildings G/1 and G/2, utilities were disconnected to prepare Building J for demolition.

On November 25, dismantling of Building J began using an excavator with hydraulic attachments that removed portions of the structure piece by piece. These materials were then loaded into a truck for recycling or disposal.

The removal of Building J will create enough space to construct two large shafts, approximately 65 feet and 35 feet in diameter, respectively, and 12 stories deep. These shafts will serve two purposes:

As of December 10, AlexRenew’s construction partners, Clark and ACECO, have safely demolished the above-ground portion of Building J. Demolition activities are anticipated to be complete by January 2021.

Check back here for progress photos and construction updates!