HDD Solves Crude Line Replacement Across St. Clair River

By Bob Wothe, Michels Corporation | November 2011, Vol. 66 No. 11

Michels’ ability to provide support from both its U.S.-based and Canada-based operations was extremely crucial throughout the process. Logistical concerns were coordinated as Enbridge worked with Michels’ procurement group, led by Purchasing Agent Mike Orrange, to negotiate contracts with local vendors and coordinate the delivery of the pipe, mainline valves and valve control buildings.

Sixteen truckloads of the 30-inch-diameter, 0.75-inch-wall-thickness, type X60 pipe were purchased and delivered from Edmonton, Alberta. The two mainline valves already in Enbridge inventory in Superior, WI, were transported to the worksites on one truck.

Meanwhile, Michels worked with Enbridge to consult with nine different regulating agencies in the U.S. and Canada to acquire permits as needed. These agencies spanned from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to the Canada National Energy Board, and even the city of Marysville.

Given the degree of external oversight and scrutiny for this high-profile crossing, the start date was postponed several times. Even after work started in February 2011, after obtaining the necessary permits and the required clearance, regulating agencies, such as the National Energy Board in Canada and the Office of Pipeline Safety in the U.S., were on site much of the time during construction activities.

The job moved quickly from there as Michels’ personnel coordinated the project on the U.S. side of the border. Assistant Operations Manager Ted Foltz and Project Manager Craig Larson led the effort for Michels, while Drill Superintendents Joe Lechner and Cliff McLain oversaw drilling operations. Pipeline Superintendent Kevin Olerud added site preparation and support as the process got under way.

On the Canadian side, Project Manager Gary Ziehr led Drill Superintendents Gary Horbas and Darel Malcolmson in keeping things operating smoothly while Safety Supervisor Collin Harding carefully monitored the work.

The Enbridge team overseeing all of the work consisted of Project Manager Tom Hodge, Construction Manager Marc DeVarennes and Project Engineer L.J. Stock.

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