Fall River’s “Big Dig” project as its been named, is for Bristol Community College’s new underground steam and condensate piping project. This will support a new distributed heating system, so each building will have its own heating system.

The 8,600′ of carbon steel piping was installed in 10′ deep trenches throughout the campus. The piping entails a multi-step protection process including x-ray welding, insulation, leak detection wire, pressure tests, and several protective wraps.

Bristol Community College “Big Dig” project with trenches 10-feet deep for their new steam piping.

A welder works on part of the 8,600-feet of carbon steel piping with the trench.


Welder installs a rock shield over the entire joint and bands it. One of the many steps to protect the piping. 

In addition, three existing boilers and condensate receiver tanks within seven buildings are being replaced and connected to the piping. New underground gas piping, 4,400′ of it, made of MDPE (medium density polyethylene) is also being installed to support seven new outside generators.

The $27M project which started in October 2019, is slated for completion in September 2020. DCAMM, Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance is overseeing the project and Gilbane Corporation is the general contractor.

The position is everything! Welder lays beside pipe to get the best vantage point for welding. 

Part of the 4,400-feet of MDPE gas piping that will support seven generators.