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Utility Tunnels and Vaults

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Utility tunnels and vaults have been vital components of district energy systems for almost two centuries. With expected life cycles of 50 to 100 years, many concrete structures, including utility tunnels and vaults, have met or exceeded the structures’ life expectancy and are in need of repair. Improper design or maintenance of utility tunnels and vaults may substantially decrease their useful service life and affect the overall performance of the utility it serves.

Whether vaults or tunnels the integrity of housing for utility piping needs to be properly designed and maintained. We evaluate tunnel and vault conditions by looking for proper pipe support and anchorage, water infiltration, concrete deterioration, steel corrosion and other needed maintenance items. After evaluation, a restoration plan is developed, cost estimates are provided and a prioritized schedule for repairs is created to reach the goal of a safe and reliable tunnel and vault system for distribution of essential district energy utilities.

To keep utility systems operating at their peak, regular condition assessments and proper maintenance are crucial. The performance of tunnels and vaults depends on their structural integrity, their ability to withstand external forces and elements, and a proper design to maintain a controlled working environment. Aging tunnels and vaults are increasingly more susceptible to failure and become more expensive to operate and maintain as deterioration progresses. Well-maintained tunnels and vaults will be safe, reliable and sustainable for years to come.

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