Installing the triple 60-inch storm drain

Owner: City of Artesia
Engineer: Smith Engineering Company

Location of Project: Artesia, NM
Contract Amount: $8,524,429
Completion Date: July 2015

This project was a full-width street reconstruction including over 10,000 LF of 60-in storm drain plus water lines, valves, fire hydrants, sanitary sewer line, manholes, sub-grade prep, base course, hot mix asphalt paving, concrete paving, concrete curb and cutter, sidewalks/fillets, and signalized intersections.  AUI completed the project within budget and over two months ahead of schedule.

The project site was constrained by the 32-ft street width. The triple 60-in storm drain installation required complete excavation and a trench width of 25-ft, plus access for material removal. Careful planning and execution was necessary to avoid damaging nearby facilities. The existing infrastructure was quite old, leading to numerous unknown utilities. We avoided damage by potholing each area prior to beginning excavation.


“It has been one of the most efficiently managed projects I have ever been associated with.”

Scott Hicks, PE/VP
Project Engineer
Smith Engineering Company


School children walking through the 60-in storm drain pipe

School children walking through the 60-in storm drain pipe

The project area included a school, a hospital, parks, businesses, and residences. Extra care was required to maintain both vehicle and pedestrian safety. In addition to cordoning off work areas, AUI held a “Safety Day” at the elementary school. We placed a piece of the storm drain pipe in the school parking lot and let the children walk through it to understand how large it was. We also brought in and demonstrated a trackhoe. We talked about what the heavy equipment does and how much it weighs, as well as explaining the reasons for the construction fences.

Because maintenance of access was required for all constituents throughout the project, we completed the project in four phases to limit the number of alternative entrances required at any one time. Utility services also had to be maintained during construction so bypass pumping was used to maintain sewer service during construction.