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October 18, 2019

Emptying the Tunnel: AlexRenew's New Pumping Station

Discover the tunnel dewatering and wet weather pumping station coming soon to AlexRenew.

Following a City Council Public Hearing on September 14, the plans for RiverRenew’s new tunnel dewatering and wet weather pumping station located at AlexRenew’s Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) were approved.


Inside the pumping station, two shafts will extend approximately 150 feet (about 12 stories) below ground and connect into the Waterfront Tunnel and Hooffs Run Interceptor. These deep shafts will house equipment to remove debris and empty the tunnel following storm events. At the surface, a new building will enclose large overhead cranes and other machinery needed to operate the pumps and debris removal equipment.

Illustration of the above- and below-ground infrastructure planned for the new pumping station (click to enlarge)

The proposed 1- to 4-story building will be finished in white brick, glass brick, and concrete to form a modern structure that also includes solar panels, an extensive green roof, and many other green building elements. The brick is organized into three “blocks” and has been architecturally designed to blend the topography of the building into the sky above.

Each of the three “blocks” will include an observation window that will allow visitors to view the dewatering and wet weather pumping processes from the green roof, accessed by a large set of stairs on the east and west sides of the building.

Side view rendering of a white building and a staircase leading to a green roof

Conceptual rendering of the Tunnel Dewatering and Wet Weather Pumping Station building —view from AlexRenew’s South Bridge

Three-tier building topped with solar panels and a green roof

Aerial view of the three blocks that house key tunnel operating equipment

For the most up-to-date information on the new plans and the tunnel project as a whole, sign up for our newsletter or send any questions to