What easily could have been a run-of-the-mill sewer pipeline replacement project in Oregon went from underground to underwater—creating what participants say will be the world’s first buoyant gravity line. Photo: Brown And Caldwell Pipeline under construction in Lake Oswego, Ore., will be the world’s first buoyant-gravity line when completed next April. Now under construction, the Lake Oswego interceptor sewer boasts 17,000 ft of wastewater-carrying pipe and another 12,000 ft of attached air-filled buoyant pipe. Replacing an existing submerged concrete pile-supported pipeline built in 1963, the new system will hook to the city’s current system on both sides of the lake.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.