Dig Greenville takes another big step with blast - FOX Carolina 21

Dig Greenville takes another big step with blast

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(FOX Carolina)/May 21, 2018 (FOX Carolina)/May 21, 2018
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Did you hear, or feel it on Monday?  If you were in downtown Greenville, near the Kroc Center, you may have heard the first blast for a major project that's underway.

It's called Dig Greenville and it will bring a one mile tunnel underground in Greenville.  ReWa is in charge of it all and it's meant to take care of the sewer needs for downtown and northern Greenville County for the next 100 years.

Those in the area had to stand back about 500 feet for the actual blast.  These blasts will continue several times a week for the next few months, as the team works to break up the rock below ground.

They are digging out a tunnel 100 feet below the surface.  It will be about 11 feet wide, and run a mile from the site at Westfield and Riley streets all the way to the Cleveland Park area.

ReWa is in charge of the project, and they tell us it's necessary to handle the growing infrastructure and sewer needs of the area.

Jason Gillespie is the ReWA Project Manager.  “With all this development, there’s a lot more toilets, a lot more flow coming to our systems, so we're reaching the point where we're getting close to running out of capacity downtown so this will help solve those problems for the long term.”

If nothing was done, they say building projects would have to stop, not to mention more issues with sewer runoff.  And they say going underground is the best option.

Stephen O'Connell is the Construction Manager with Black & Veatch.  “The alternative is digging a trench and that's not a good alternative. The existing pipeline runs right through Falls Park and if we were to do a similar thing today you'd have to rip up Falls Park and that would much more impact to the public than our current plan, which is to avoid ripping up any ground.”

Construction managers tell us, besides the blasts and the work on the two sites, people really shouldn't notice the work going on below ground.

Drilling of the tunnel won't start until early next year, and the project should be complete in mid-2020.  It's the largest underground tunnel project in Greenville history.

If you want to learn more about Dig Greenville, they’ll be holding community meetings throughout the project.

The next one is June 5th.  You can find more information here.

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