Tuesday, September 10, 2024
4:15 PM - 4:45 PM
Location Name
What Can You Do When Permitting Agency Rejects Your Water Project?

Tennessee American Water (TAW) has seen significant growth in its Lookout Valley system to the west of downtown Chattanooga and needs to increase water supply infrastructure to due to demand, redundancy, and future growth. TAW and their consultants developed a multi-year phased approach to expand water storage, pumping and distribution system to cross the Moccasin Bend area and the Tennessee River. The improvements will be completed in several construction contract phases, including Stringers Ridge water storage tank, east-side 16-inch water mains (2,100± linear feet), new Moccasin Bend water booster pump station (2,500± GPM), dual 16-inch water mains crossing the Tennessee River, west-side 16-inch water mains, and Lookout Valley storage tank. Several phases are completed including east-side 16-inch water mains and Moccasin Bend pump station. The next critical phase includes approximately 7,000 LF of 16-inch DIP water mains crossing the Moccasin Bend Municipal Golf Course, the Tennessee River and private property on the west side. TAW selected construction manager at risk (CMAR) alternative-delivery methodology to complete the water main construction and selected Reynolds Construction as the CMAR. TAW and their consultant Stantec submitted applications to multiple agencies for permit approvals in late 2022 for the water main construction and the Tennessee River crossing, including US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), TVA, and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). After several months in review, the USACE rejected the proposed pipeline route crossing the Tennessee River, declaring the pipeline “impacts/crosses a 1st Class Safety Harbor Landing” which is a designated river barge parking area in the Tennessee River. Oh crap … Now what can we do? We discussed options to bury and protect the pipeline with the USACE but that was a hard NO. The permit hurdle required TAW and Stantec back up and re-assess the project approach and route. We re-evaluated the proposed pipeline route along the Moccasin Bend Golf Course and other locations for the water mains on the west side of the River. We evaluated several potential private properties on the west side and engaged the golf course management to assess the new route. The selected new route will move south from the original route, increasing impact to the golf course and requiring new easements from the west-side property owners. The impacts include: • Delayed the start of the water main CMAR construction • Required revised design of the river crossing pipeline • Required preparation and resubmittal of new permit applications to permit agencies • Required new easement preparation and negotiations with the golf course and property owners • Required added survey of archeological and cultural resources in the Moccasin Bend area TAW is negotiating easements from the west side property owners. The river crossing re-design and permit re-submittals are contingent on acquiring easement approval. This presentation will include summary of the completed construction projects, impacts of the permitting complications, and lessons learned.