It moves at a snail’s pace, but Alexandria’s tunnel boring machine is ready to drill through 100-foot-deep soil to prevent millions of gallons of combined sewage from flowing into the Potomac River, Hooffs Run, and Hunting Creek.
On Thursday, Alexandria’s leaders were on-hand for the unveiling and dedication of AlexRenew’s RiverRenew Tunnel Project. The $454.4 million project is the largest infrastructure project in the city’s history, and will result in a 12-foot-wide, two-mile-long waterfront tunnel, which will divert approximately 120 million gallons of sewage every year.
At the dedication, Mayor Justin Wilson lamented the loss of former Mayor Kerry Donley, an AlexRenew Board Member, who died on Wednesday.
“Our hearts are certainly heavy this morning as we gather without Kerry,” Wilson said. “I think if there was ever a more fitting, audacious undertaking as a tribute to Kerry, it’s what we’re doing right here. Kerry always believed that this was a city that could do big things that were audacious, and their impact in their planning and scale. And this certainly is a mind-blowing exercise for this community.”
The tunnel boring machine was built in Schwanau, Germany, and was given the name Hazel, after environmental activist Hazel Johnson.
“Today we honor Hazel Johnson’s dedication to a cleaner, safer environment for future generations through the dedication of this tunnel boring machine, which will build a brighter future for all Alexandria,” said Karen Pallansch, CEO of AlexRenew Enterprises. “This 380-ton custom-built tunnel boring machine will soon begin to dig. How fast does she move? She moves about as fast as a snail creeping along a stick by Hunting Creek, and yet, and yet she’s gonna leave behind a lasting legacy.”
The Virginia General Assembly mandated in 2017 that the project be completed by July 1, 2025. The groundbreaking for the project was held last fall.
“It’s a good day for all of us,” said Delegate Elizabeth Bennett-Parker (D-45). “We were able to get $40 million additional dollars in this year’s state budget for this project, which will help us see it to completion.”
The tunnel project is partially funded through a $321 million loan from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act and $50 million from the American Rescue Plan Act.
A new coffee/bubble tea shop is being planned for 411 Cameron Street in Old Town, according to a special use permit (SUP) filed with the city. The location was previously…
Del Ray Vintage and Flea Market Named Best in Virginia — “The Del Ray Vintage & Flea Market has been named Best Flea Market in Virginia by Domino magazine…” [Zebra] It’s…
Several vacancies have popped up across a dozen of Alexandria’ various boards and commissions — bodies that ultimately help to shape the future of the city. Some of those boards…
It barely got more than a blip in the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority’s (NOVA Parks) new strategic plan, but the regional park organization said one of its near-term goals…
Do you struggle with anxiety, depression, stress, grief, trauma or anger? Are you ready to make a change?
Lauren K. Nickum, LCSW, CSAC from Peaceful Mind Solutions is now taking new clients for psychotherapy. Lauren has over 10 years of experience treating mental health disorders and general life stress in adults and adolescents. For more information visit
5 Star Auto Glass, an auto glass repair and replacement company based out of Fairfax, Virginia, now covers most of Fairfax County in its service area.
Part of 5 Star Auto Glass’ commitment to excellent customer service includes their super convenient mobile service. Whether you’re at home or the office, this highly-rated and experienced company will come to you.
As an added benefit, their OEM-grade adhesive provides a seal that’s not only trusted by top auto manufacturers but cures in just a couple of hours, allowing you to get back on the road safely and quickly.
For a free quote, visit their website www.5starautoglass.com or contact them at 703-539-0404.