The City of Plymouth Leads Minneapolis Metro Area in Pipebursting Cast Iron Mains with Fusible PVC® Pipe

After recent successful installations of Fusible C-900® pipe using the pipeburst method in the Minneapolis metro area, the City of Plymouth decided to perform a large-scale project utilizing this cost effective rehabilitation technology. In pipebursting, the compromised cast iron line is "burst" or shattered in the ground with a new carrier line pulled through the remains - without open cutting the alignment. The City designed and engineered the project internally.

Pipeline Details and Project Summary
Project: Lancaster Mill Lane
Owner: City of Plymouth, MN
General Contractor: Hardrives Inc; Rogers, MN
Utility Contractor: Northdale Construction; Rogers, MN
Pipe Burst Contractor: Red Pederson Utilities; St. Louis Park, MN
Distributor: Ferguson Waterworks; Blaine, MN
Pipe Length: 4,280 LF 8" DR18 Fusible C-900®

The project had many characteristics which made it an excellent candidate for pipebursting. The soil conditions were wet clay which made conventional dig-and-replace an undesirably "messy" and difficult project. By going the trenchless route, the cost of excavation and road/surface restoration was reduced significantly. The alignment was along a busy roadway with many businesses, including the Four Seasons Mall - which would have been disrupted by a large open trench dewatering operation. The City selected Fusible PVC® pipe over other thermoplastic pipe options in order to maintain consistency in piping materials (AWWA C900) and use standard, off-the-shelf fittings. Pipebursting over 4,000 LF of 8" cast iron pipe resulted in minimal impact to businesses while providing the City with a long-term, sustainable solution. Dan Campbell, Project Manager from the City of Plymouth, stated, "I was very happy with the pipebursting and was surprised with how smoothly and quickly that section went."

In early 2011, after completing several Fusible PVC® pipeburst projects in the prior year, Red Pederson Utilities (RPU) opted to have a few of their personnel trained to fuse Fusible PVC® pipe. As a "trenchless" contractor, with a specialty in pipebursting, the qualification made fusing short and intermittent runs a more simple and economical process. The Plymouth project was the largest Fusible PVC® pipebursting project to date for RPU. RPU found ways to increase efficiency, such as using the McElroy "Pipe Horse". Once loaded, the pipe can be inserted into the fusion machine by the fusion technician in an efficient manner. Red Pederson summarized the project, "Fusible PVC® allows us as the the trenchless subcontractor to complete our bursting process, then get out of the way of the pipe contractor. We pull our equipment out of the pit, move to the next run, and the pipe guys are already making their connections to the hydrants, etc.".