2012 Best Project Award
Civil Works/Infrastructure Category
APEX Expansion – Wasatch Loop Pipeline
Construction of the Kern River Gas Transmission's mainline loop through Morgan, Davis and Salt Lake counties required the installation of a 36-in.-dia, high-pressure natural gas pipeline through some of the Wasatch Range's most remote and hostile terrain. The 28-mile project increased the amount of natural gas transported on the Kern River system by 266 million cu ft per day. It also made more clean fuel available for generating electricity for customers in Utah, Nevada, California and Arizona.
The project included two long, horizontal directional drills, nine road bores, 20 creek crossings and 18 steep hill segments. Roughly five miles of the pipeline were constructed on grades of 40% or steeper. Five miles of pipeline trench required rock blasting parallel to existing, operating pipelines as little as 35 ft away. The new pipeline also crossed the Wasatch Fault, which required adding specialty fill and backfill sections to protect the pipe from earth movement.
But the project's biggest obstacle was the weather, which set precipitation records during five of the 11 months in the construction schedule. Rainfall was nearly 15 in. above average during that time. Barnard Pipeline conducted continual inspections, repairs and redesigns to protect adjacent lands and resources while maintaining erosion control across the entire right-of-way.
The project required regular communication with residents, landowners, stakeholders and agencies to ensure work progressed efficiently. The delivery of materials, pipe and crews required careful coordination, with as many as four helicopters operating concurrently out of the same staging area.
Close proximity to Salt Lake City International Airport added additional Federal Aviation Administration scrutiny and resulted in the project's pipe yard being designated an official FAA operating area. Because of recent pipeline accidents across the country, regulatory oversight was heightened. That brought numerous visits and inspections by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Dept. of Transportation and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
Owner: Kern River Gas Transmission Co., Salt Lake City
Engineer: Universal Pegasus Inc., Salt Lake City
General Contractor: Barnard Pipeline Inc., Bozeman, Mont.
Submitted by Barnard Pipeline Inc.