Subsurface Condition Evaluation
Beaver County, PA
A newly installed, 24-inch diameter natural gas pipeline ruptured and burst into flames near the community of Aliquippa, Beaver County, PA. Because of the intense heat, the adjacent Cranberry-Wylie Ridge 500 kV high tension electric transmission line, which runs parallel to the gas line right of way, melted and eventually failed. The conductor break caused the outage of approximately 1,500 customers and created a large outage in the power grid around the break and caused a loss of power transmission to the western grid.
The day after the explosion, personnel from FirstEnergy Corporation contacted L.R. Kimball to request an emergency drilling program to evaluate subsurface conditions in the areas of several proposed replacement tower structures. Due to the steep slopes, uneven terrain, and potential for more slope instability, this was a challenging project for our team.
After a site-visit by our leadership group, we were able to mobilize a specialized track mounted geotechnical rig and crew to the project site within 24 hours to assist by providing subsurface information to design foundations for the new high voltage transmission towers.
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