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Projects > Lake Mead Intake Tunnel
Project Date: 2014


BMC worked with the prime contractor to provide a hyperbaric solution to the highest known tunneling pressures in the world to date. BMC is working with an onsite Saturation System (SAT). Our team will have a pressurized, environmentally controlled habitat 650’ below the ground. This allows for much more working time per day and reducing overall downtime for the TBM.

BMC has highly specialized equipment that allows the workers to breathe exotic gas blends while performing inspection and maintenance on the cutting head. We have a complete support team in place for this project including supervision, life support supervisors, life support technicians, saturation technicians, manlock supervisors, manlock attendants and medics.


A TBM that takes technology to a new level of capability and operation is needed to build the new potable water intake tunnel into the base of Lake Mead, the vast reservoir created by the famous Hoover Dam on the Colorado River near Las Vegas, Nevada. The logistics of the project demand that the TBM be a hard rock machine that is able to convert rapidly from an open-faced faced system to a closed pressurised system capable of withstanding potential hydrostatic pressures up to 17 bar maximum. Water is drawn currently from two existing intake structures located on Saddle Island. Critical drought conditions over past seven years have lowered the surface of the lake to critical levels. If the water level continues to decline, existing Intake No. 1 will become unusable. A drop in lake level to elevation 305m would render the second intake unusable. We encourage the reader to see the Tunnel Talk article link on this page for a well written article on this project.

Extreme Tunnel  
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