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Asbestos Cement Pipe Bursting in Vermont

10.25.16

In the Summer 2014 edition of The Pipeline newsletter, we wrote about pipe bursting and the regulatory hurdles involved for AC pipe. Since then, Dufresne Group has been working with Vermont State officials to obtain permits and approvals for a pipe bursting project that would replace asbestos cement (AC) pipe. In September 2016, the Route 5 Water Main Improvements project in Bellows Falls broke ground with all permits and approvals in place. This project involves the replacement of approximately 4,700 linear feet of 10-inch AC water main with new 12-inch fusible PVC water main using pipe bursting. This is the first project in the State of Vermont where AC pipe will be replaced using pipe bursting. Additionally, Vermont is now one of a handful of states across the country that has approved a demonstration of pipe bursting on AC pipe.

As of early October 2016, four “bursts” have been successfully completed, totaling approximately 1,500 LF. The benefits of pipe bursting are already obvious: less disturbance, less pavement restoration, and reduced traffic impacts. Most importantly, the cost benefit of pipe bursting has been realized. The pipe bursting contractor noted that on average, the cost savings with pipe bursting is approximately 40%. When compared to actual bid prices for similarly sized projects bid in the same time of year, the cost savings realized on this project is about 35%.

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