Geotechnical, Materials Testing, and Engineering News

Posted on 8/11/2014 by Condor Earth

In our last newsletter we reported about all the new and exciting tunneling work Condor has been doing in the wine industry of California. That business continues to grow with over 15 tunnel projects underway throughout California and Nevada. In this issue we’d like to focus on our “non-wine cave” tunneling work. July saw the start of construction of the Fleish tunnel in the central Sierra Nevada just west of Reno Nevada. The 1150- foot long tunnel near an elevation of 5,000 feet above sea level will help Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) route hydroelectric-generating flume water away from a vulnerable area previously flooded by the Truckee River. The flooding caused TMWA to make costly repairs to the flume, so circumventing the venerable area with a new tunnel was the preferred option to improve reliability. The project contractor, Drill Tech, anticipates completion before the end of 2014, provided late fall weather is conducive to construction. Condor provided design geotechnical services, prepared contract plans and specifications, and provided technical support during contractor bidding. Ongoing services include construction oversight of geologic and ground support conditions, construction inspection of portal and tunnel construction, and construction design review services. TMWA is one of many water purveyors to call on Condor to provide engineering services for reliable and current facilities to address historic infrastructure.

Other news includes geotechnical and materials testing services for a range of projects, including the Union Pacific Rail Welding Facility (Stockton), Mountain House High School Forensic Study (Mountain House), Hetch Hetchy Water System Upgrades (Tuolumne County), Stadium Tech Deep Shoring Project (near Levi’s stadium), BART San Jose Extension (expert services for Verizon), and several school projects in five area counties. Condor also continues to be a leader in full-depth reclamation of pavements, and is currently working on eight such projects in Northern California.

For additional information on any of these projects, please contact Ron Skaggs, PE, GE, and Vice President of Engineering at

Blasting drill hole pattern for the initial blast to start the excavation of the Fleish Tunnel


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