Imagine an underground highway for wastewater: that’s what the Harbour Island Force Main is. This vital pipeline was installed on Harbour Island in 1951, moving more than 15 million gallons of wastewater daily from the Hillsborough River Corridor to the Howard F. Curren Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The Harbour Island Force Main Replacement Project is currently underway and making impressive strides. Since its start in August 2022, this project is reshaping the city’s wastewater system and is now one step closer to completion.
With the help of Vadnais Trenchless Services, a subcontractor of Kimmins Contracting Corporation, the City of Tampa used innovative methods to install a cutting-edge micro-tunnel that’s 3,200 feet long and lies 60 feet below Tampa Bay’s water surface. This micro-tunnel is now the second longest pipe tunnel in the US and the longest steel-cased micro-tunnel in the Western Hemisphere.
The force main replacement project hasn’t been without challenges. Delays caused by Hurricane Ian and the need to navigate tough soil beneath the waters of Tampa Bay slowed things down, but the dedicated construction crew, working nights and weekends, overcame these hurdles, keeping the project on track.
As we near the finish line, all eyes are on the next big step: connecting the force main in Water and Franklin Streets. This is planned to kick off in November 2023, with the area expected to be fully restored by May 2024.
As construction continues, nearby Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park remains open to the public.
“This project isn’t just about pipelines; it’s a testament to innovation and hard work,” said Mayor Jane Castor. “The Harbour Island Force Main Replacement is a collaborative effort between the City of Tampa, Vadnais Trenchless Services, and the local community, all driving towards a cleaner, more efficient future for Tampa’s Tomorrow.”