Granville Gorge Water Main Replacement Using Pipe Bursting

The project consisted of 5,400 ft of 14-in. cast iron pipe to be replaced with 16-in. DIPS HDPE pipe along the Granville Gorge in Granville, Mass. At one time, the pipe used to carry water from a reservoir in Granville to the City of Westfield. The pipe was eventually abandoned in favor of deep water wells in Westfield. Due to expense, an effort to re-establish the water draw from the reservoir is under way. The original pipe was installed in 1898 and the pipe path was cut out of rock sidewall of the gorge. The rugged terrain and difficult access ruled out open-cut with large equipment. Determination that the pipe was only covered by loose fill material and not solid rock trench made pipe bursting the pipe replacement option. Pipe bursting proved to be even more effective and efficient than initially thought. It was initially thought that the existing pipe was installed in 13-ft sections. With that length of pipe, only so much grade and bend can be achieved. It was discovered that in certain sections that the existing pipe had been cut down in to 4-ft sections, along for significant turns, beyond the capability of the bursting rods. RH White decided to install bursting rods through the host pipe as far as they could until they were met with resistance. This identified where the bends were and where excavation was needed, creating much longer runs that reached lengths of 700 ft.

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