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RiverRenew Reaches Key Milestones to Meet July 2025 Mandate

This summer was significant for RiverRenew, with the program moving along to meet an aggressive deadline that was established by the Virginia General Assembly in 2017. This mandate requires the City of Alexandria to resolve its combined sewer overflows by July 1, 2025. Staying on schedule throughout the program will be critical to meeting this goal.

Here’s what’s taken place in the last few months:

June 19, 2019: The RiverRenew Environmental Assessment (EA), developed in conjunction with the National Park Service (NPS), was released. The EA evaluated potential impacts to the environment, community, and cultural resources associated with the area affected by the program. The EA also included community feedback received during an initial public Scoping Period in Fall 2018.
The EA helped establish the preferred routing for the tunnel system, which includes:

  • Waterfront Tunnel: 12-foot-diameter tunnel that features an east-west alignment largely under Church Street and bends to the north under Jones Point Park, and then is mainly aligned under the Potomac River until it reaches Oronoco Bay 

  • Outfall 001 Diversion Facility: located at the northeast corner of the Robinson Terminal North site 

  • Outfall 002 Diversion Facility: located at Royal Street, just south of the entrance to Jones Point Park 

  • Hooffs Run Interceptor: 6-foot-diameter open-cut sewer along Hooffs Run 


The release of the EA was followed by a series of Community Listening Sessions and community meetings to present the findings and recommendations. During this time, the public had the opportunity to submit any further comments to the NPS through July 19, 2019.

June 25, 2019: The City of Alexandria Development Special Use Permit (DSUP) for the tunnel system was approved by Alexandria City Council following a public hearing.

September 14, 2019: The City of Alexandria Development Special Use Permit (DSUP) for the tunnel dewatering & wet weather pumping station at AlexRenew was approved by Alexandria City Council following a public hearing.

Coming Up: The final step in the EA process is the issuance of a decision document, anticipated for release this fall.

October 23, 2019: Join us at the AlexRenew offices (1800 Limerick Street) for a meeting of the RiverRenew Stakeholder Advisory Group. 


Construction Begins at AlexRenew



RiverRenew construction is underway at AlexRenew’s 35-acre Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF). The following projects are necessary first steps before construction can begin on the tunnel system. Here’s a look at what’s happening:
  • Demolition of AlexRenew’s former administrative building
  • Construction of a new laboratory, chiller system, and control room in place of the administrative building
  • Upgrades to the existing capacity of the plant’s primary treatment pumps
  • Modifications to the plant’s site security and access to accommodate the flow of construction traffic
All of these projects are expected to be completed by March 2021 with minimal disruption to the community.


RiverRenew and Your City Council

To facilitate partnership and ensure the City Council remains informed about RiverRenew, the City Council–AlexRenew Board Combined Sewer Project Workgroup was created in June 2018. This group comprises Mayor Justin Wilson, Councilwoman Amy Jackson, AlexRenew Board Chair John Hill, and AlexRenew Board Vice Chair Patti Turner. The Workgroup meets approximately every six to eight weeks and reviews every aspect of the program, from planning and permitting to community outreach.

This summer, the Council-Board Workgroup donned RiverRenew hard hats and visited DC Water's Northeast Boundary Tunnel Project, an ongoing tunnel construction project in Washington, DC, designed to mitigate the discharge of combined sewage to the Anacostia River. Although this tunnel is double the diameter of the RiverRenew tunnel, it was created in similar soil and depth, making it an excellent point of reference for the Council-Board Workgroup members.

Council-Board Workgroup members inside the TBM (top left), inside the tunnel (top right, middle left), in a presentation from DC Water (middle right), and gathered together at the site (bottom).
Council-Board Workgroup meetings are open to the public and are held either at City Hall or at AlexRenew’s Environmental Center at 1800 Limerick Street. Keep an eye on our website and newsletter for your next opportunity to attend a meeting.

Getting to Know:

Doug Chapin, Third Party Manager for RiverRenew


As RiverRenew’s Third Party Manager, Doug manages the environmental and regulatory coordination for RiverRenew, overseeing the program’s NEPA compliance process, Clean Water Act permitting, VDOT coordination, and City permit processes. Doug is also responsible for developing and negotiating easements, rights-of-entry, construction staging, and temporary land leases on behalf of the utility provider.

Doug’s work has resulted in three critical documents in the past few months: two Development Special Use Permits (DSUP) from the City of Alexandria and an Environmental Assessment from the National Park Service. The work continues as Doug and the RiverRenew team seek to secure additional approvals that will help facilitate the transition from the Planning Phase into implementation.

A dedicated environmental professional, Doug has over 19 years’ experience consulting on natural resources and environmental regulations. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia in Environmental Science and a master’s degree from Virginia Tech in Natural Resources. Outside of work, his time is devoted to his wife and two children. He enjoys traveling, building furniture, and working on cars.
Doug traveled to Iceland in 2018, where he enjoyed the benefits of clean water firsthand, drinking water straight from the stream below the waterfall.

Did You Know?

To build the new tunnel system, RiverRenew will use a state-of-the-art tunnel boring machine (TBM). Several cities around the world are using TBMs at this very moment to expand their water systems or improve transportation networks.
 
Take an inside look at Silicon Valley’s TBM “Salus.” This 3D video tour takes you through the following components:
  • Cutterhead, which rotates to excavate soil
  • Shield, the cylinder that houses the machine’s components
  • Trailing gear, which is almost a football field and a half long!
  • Rear of the shield, where concrete rings are placed to build the tunnel in segments
  • Operator’s room, a central hub for overseeing the machine's operations
  • Inside the shield, where you’ll see the inner workings of the TBM
Click here to see a 3D video of Silicon Valley’s Tunnel Boring Machine!
 
Please do not reply to this email. If you have any questions about the RiverRenew program, please visit the Contact Us page on our website.
Copyright © 2019 RiverRenew. All rights reserved.
A program owned and implemented by Alexandria Renew Enterprises in partnership with the City of Alexandria



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