Wednesday, April 18, 2018 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM CDT
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311 S. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL

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Emery Waterhouse 
SEI-Illinois Chapter 

SEI - Illinois Chapter April Dinner Meeting

McCook Main Tunnel and Gates Go Online as Part of Chicago’s Tunnel and Reservoir Plan

Presented by: Miguel Sanchez, P.E. & Charles Strauss, P.E.



The McCook Main Tunnel connects the existing Mainstream Tunnel to the McCook Reservoir as part of Chicago’s Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) for pollution and flood control. Construction of a 33-ft diameter reinforced concrete-lined and steel-lined tunnel about 300 feet underground in live flow conditions has been a challenging task for the McCook Main Tunnel Project participants: project owner U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), local sponsor Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) of Greater Chicago, designer Black & Veatch, and contractor Kiewit Infrastructure Company. The tunnel and reservoir were brought online in December 2017. The presentation will touch on the overall project scope and the design and construction of the Main Tunnel System, including design, fabrication and installation of the world’s largest underground roller (or wheel) gates that are capable of resisting 260 feet of water pressure.

                             Above Image: Bifurcated Steel-Lined Section of the Main Tunnel and Gates
Speakers’ Bio: 

Miguel Sanchez is a State of Illinois Licensed Professional Engineer and currently serves as a project manager in Black & Veatch Corporation’s Chicago office.  He has been delivering large-scale heavy civil underground infrastructure projects locally for MWRD and USACE, and regionally across the Midwest, for about 20 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering, both from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Charles Strauss is a State of Kansas Licensed Professional Engineer and serves as a structural engineer with Black & Veatch Special Projects Corp. He has 17 years of experience providing engineering design and construction support on heavy civil infrastructure and defense-related infrastructure for the USACE and various governmental agencies. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri Institute of Science and Technology) and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Kansas State University.