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UMW upgrading 90 year old steam lines

PC7060 Member Posts: 348
edited September 4 in THE MAIN WALL
University of Mary Washinton, Fredericksburg VA is replacing all of the underground steam lines that were installed as part of the campus expansion performed by the Public Works Administration in the 1930s.  
Currently, the project is installing temporary above ground lines since the underground service lines (including water) replacement is schedule to take 2 years.  The scale of this effort alone is pretty impressive. 


  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,821
    Wow. I hope it goes smooth & safely for them. It looks like a big job!
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 348
    edited September 4
    Yes, quiet large project but the construct company seems very organized.  This article discusses the activities for the current phase with panned completion in October. I’d say that’s pretty optimistic given it took them 3 months to set up about 1/4 mile of temporary lines. 

    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,394
    Looks like a big job. The temporary will cost more than the real fix LOL
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 678
    Unfortunately replacement of 90 plus year old district heating and water lines is expensive. Especially so when the piping has to be run in the same plain and service has to be provided for the institution.

    Hope the design engineers figured out how the job should be done and the contractor knows the work.

  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 348
    edited September 6
    Found out that the steam tunnel restorations was not part of a long term plan but grew out of a pretty big failure.  I watched this building being renovated along with some pretty large steam tunnels work over the past few years but figured the building work was part of planned restoration.  

    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,540
    At least no one drank the heat pump Koolaid and abandoned the central steam system.
    This replacement should easily outlive the lifetimes of 10 minisplits.
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 348
    They rebuilt the central heat plant 5 years ago so I guess they are committed. 
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 445
    I can't give you the exact timetable for the work that was done at the VA here in Butler, Pa but, a number of years ago, they replaced most of the steam heating distribution piping that was underground. A few years later it all had to be redone again because as I understand it, they used the wrong type insulation on the buried piping. I guess that you don't have to be too careful when you are spending the tax payers money.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,429
    That's what happens when you hire the lowest bidder and they subcontract and supervise the lowest bidders.

    We have a lot of around 100 year old steam tunnels at the University of Michigan and they are constantly digging up and rebuilding collapsing sections.