Photo gallery What’s going on underneath Bascom Hill?

December 16, 2019

Workers continue to make progress underneath Bascom Hill, where they’re using a custom-made borer to excavate a 640-foot-long tunnel to carry utilities. The crew currently has excavated 300 feet from South Hall toward the northeast corner of Bascom Hill, where it expects to break through by the end of the week. An intermediate jacking station is temporarily dividing the length of tunnel because earth pressure is making it difficult to hydraulically push the length of metal tunnel in any further as one piece.

The second part of the excavation will go from South Hall to Lathrop Hall. The 9’8”-diameter tunnel will accommodate pipes and lines carrying steam, chilled water, condensate, compressed air, and electric lighting.  It replaces a century-old, smaller tunnel that was dug by hand.

The project is being managed by the state of Wisconsin’s Division of Facilities Development and Management (DFDM), and the machinery was custom-made by Minger Construction of Jordan, Minn. for the project, under contract of J.H. Findorff and Son, the general prime contractor.

Photo: Workers weld and talk inside a darkened tunnel.

Welders install an intermediate jacking station to help push along a 9’8”-diameter section of metal tunnel being installed underneath Bascom Hill. Photo by: Jeff Miller

A wreath decorates some construction equipment in a pit.

Holiday lights and a wreath adorn the reinforced earthen pit and tunnel construction site between South Hall and the Law Building. Photo by: Jeff Miller

Photo: An overall view of the tunnel construction site under the lights.

Seen from the roof of the Law Building, work lights illuminate the tunnel construction site, where work is ongoing from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Photo by: Jeff Miller

See more photo stories