Project- NYPA Crescent Hydro Plant

man operating pump


Project Overview

What prompted the need for the service? After wreaking havoc along the U.S. Atlantic coastline, Hurricane Irene left a wake of unprecedented damage as it made landfall and pounded its way up through the northeast. Just North of Albany, New York, a submarine cable from the Crescent Hydro Power Plant that energized several Erie Canal locks was destroyed by a buoy anchor that became dislodged by a rampaging torrent and undercurrent. [“a buoy anchor that became dislodged by a rampaging torrent and undercurrent.”] - When the decision was made to replace the cable, it was determined that power should to carried under the river instead of through it again to avoid similar situations in the future. HDD was needed to aid in the installation of new cable under the Mohawk river.

Who were the companies involved?

  • Client
    • O’Connell Electric Company

What were specs of the job? 1400 linear feet of 6 inch high density polyethylene (HDPE)

What challenges/obstacles occurred during? At the construction site, the river had a 20 foot average water depth and a solid rock bottom. Ground conditions for drilling included areas of dense shale and deposits of greywacke, a variety of sandstone with an impressively high compressive strength. The mid-winter schedule meant we had low available daylight hours to accomplish work and saw a cold snap that delivered relentless wind chills which had our crew fighting to keep water, slurry and other liquids involved in the process from freezing on a daily basis.

Skills Utilized? Boring under the Mohawk required use of a wireline guidance system to monitor the drill bit’s progress and to capture and log depth, distance and time data.

What was the ending outcome? Now power is running under the mohawk river and out of the way of storm damage, keeping steady power to O’Connell electric customers.

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Project at a Glance


O’Connell Electric Company

Job Specs

1400 linear feet of 6 inch high density polyethylene (HDPE)

Installation type


Equipment Used


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