Great Lakes Tunnel System Projects - Enbridge Energy

Value Management Study


Passing under environmentally sensitive areas, the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline conveys petroleum from western to eastern Canada via the Great Lakes states. 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources approved an agreement to build a multi-purpose tunnel that will house multiple utility lines. This agreement allows Enbridge to construct a new tunnel beneath the Straights of Mackinac.  

The value study focused on the maintenance, operations, and life-safety requirements of this complex project.

  • OBJECTIVEValue Management Study
  • TEAMEnbridge, Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority

The Objective

  • The project will protect the environment by providing secondary containment of hydrocarbons
  • Socialize the project with stakeholders, understand their needs, and incorporate input
  • Propose tunnel system design recommendations to satisfy functional performance requirements and minimize life-cycle cost
barrels of light oil and natural gas liquids per day
diameter oil pipeline 4-miles beneath the lakebed

The Solution

  • The value management study team developed six VM alternatives that were combined into a single VM strategy for project improvement
  • Building stone sills and breakwaters will accommodate 2 feet of sea-level rise more efficiently at the end of Phase 1 resulting in more resilient structures and reducing the time and cost of remediating poor soils

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