Bi-County Water Tunnel Will Accommodate Growing County (Video)
A tunnel running 5.3-miles long between Montgomery and Prince Georges County is ensuring that residents of the growing area will have running water in the future.
MyMCMedia’s Valerie Bonk has a tour of the Bi-County Water Tunnel and the story on how it’ll help local residents.
It’s more than 160 feet under the ground and looks like a scene out of a Batman movie. The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission recently gave a tour of their new water tunnel, bringing visitors down in a secure cage lowered by a construction crane in Kensington and into the Bi-County project built to anticipate growth in the area.
“The original plan for a main of this size was conceived in the 1970’s when they did a lot of planning for the future of the project, we didn’t need this until this point in time and as we see continued growth and demand we need to be able to have a reliable water supply and that’s what this main will provide,” said John Mitchell, WSSC Project Manager for the Bi-County Water Tunnel.
The $146 million project was designed to meet the future water requirements for both Montgomery and Prince Georges counties. The pipe connects the two existing water mains, the first near I-270 and Tuckerman Lane and another in Rock Creek Park at Stoneybrook and Beach drives.
“This is a look in the future,” said WSSC Spokesperson Lyn Riggins. “We have to always be looking ahead and when people turn on their taps they expect to have water. Thirty years from now in 2040 there’s going to be water. If we hadn’t done this there could have been an issue.”
State Delegate Charles Barkley said he was a little scared of taking the plunge at first during his visit to the tunnel.
“I was because I’m not a big heights person I mean you’re enclosed enough in a cage and you don’t really feel like you’re dangling in mid air,” said Barkley, State Delegate (D-District 39).
The shaft in Kensington will be filled in and water will flow through the completed project early next year.
WSSC’s bi-county tunnel tour took place on May 14 in Kensington. A construction crane lowered visitors in a secured cage down the 160-foot shaft into the 5.3 mile-long tunnel. Follow Valerie Bonk’s updates on Twitter. And we’re out of the tunnel! More than 100 million gallons of water will flow through the bi-county water tunnel […]