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KC Water Highlights Use of Boring Machine to Dig Tunnel for Turkey Creek Flood Damage Reduction Project

Posted on November 6, 2019

(Kansas City, MO) – KC Water is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to install six new storm pipes underground to ease flooding along Southwest Boulevard and 31st Street. This is a part of the Turkey Creek Flood Damage Reduction Project. Each pipe, 96 inches in diameter, will be placed underneath the railroad crossing near Southwest Boulevard and 31st Street.

A boring machine made it possible to begin the process of placing new pipes underground without disturbing the railroad tracks.

“We cannot disturb the railroad tracks. Even a small amount of movement under the railroad tracks could upset a train,” said KC Water Storm Water Engineer Manager, Tom Kimes.

Instead of digging up the dirt to lay the pipes, crews used a boring machine to dig through the dirt. The boring machine churned…very slowly, very meticulously until it broke through stone, dirt and rock. The bore averaged only 4 feet per day. As the boring machine moved through, sections of pipe were put in place to advance the boring machine.

These new storm pipes will connect to pipes leading into the Turkey Creek tunnel which will result in less flooding along Southwest Blvd.

“The storm drainage system, this is part of the combined sewer system, and it flows north toward downtown so the pipes, they are not large enough to carry large amounts of rain water to the river. So this will increase the capacity of the storm drainage system significantly,” said Tom Kimes.

Crews have completed the second bore underground near the Turkey Creek tunnel and will continue until all 6 pipes are installed.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is doing the construction.  The city of Kansas City, Missouri and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas are the local and non-federal sponsors of the project.  Kansas City, Missouri is paying 24 % of the total project costs and Unified Government is paying 11% of total project cost. Federal dollars cover the remaining 65% of the total project costs. Kansas City, MO and Unified Government of Wyandotte County, KS will be responsible for maintenance of portions of the Turkey Creek Flood Damage Reduction project.

For more information contact Heather Frierson, KC Water Media Relations Coordinator, at 816-513-0280, cell 816-674-0211.


KC Water maintains and operates water treatment and distribution systems, stormwater management systems, and wastewater collection and treatment systems for residential and business customers in Kansas City and for wholesale customers in the Kansas City area.  KC Water is primarily funded by fees charged to customers based on their use or impacts on the three utility systems.

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