Rendering courtesy of Port of Miami Tunnel

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Nicholson Awarded Port of Miami Tunnel Grouting Work

PITTSBURGH, PA - October 4, 2011 - Nicholson was recently awarded a multi-million dollar contract to perform grout work on the new Port of Miami Tunnel, which will provide a direct connection from the Port of Miami to Watson Island. The Port of Miami is one of the busiest cargo and cruise ship ports in the country.

The tunnel structure project is part of a larger construction initiative designed to increase access to the port by providing alternate routes for inbound and outbound cargo truck and cruise-related tour bus traffic.

The 3,900-foot structure will include twin tunnels, parts of which will be constructed beneath the main shipping channel within Biscayne Bay. Each tunnel will be 41-feet in diameter and will hold two lanes of traffic. At their lowest points, the tunnels will be 120-feet below sea level.

The tunnels will be constructed using a tunnel boring machine (TBM) custom-created by German firm Herrenknecht. The new TBM, which will be several stories high and the length of almost two football fields, will be shipped to the US in pieces, barged from the port to Watson Island, and then assembled while underground.

Nicholson was contracted to fill voids in the existing rock layer ahead of the massive new TBM using mortar grout mix.

A portion of Nicholson's drilling and grouting work will be performed on-shore at Watson Island, while the other portion will be performed off-shore, using barges on the channel between Watson Island and the Port of Miami, based on the cruise ships' schedule. The off-shore drilling and grouting will be performed under a double confinement system in order to avoid channel pollution.

Drilling operations will be recorded via a drilling parameter recording system. All of Nicholson's grouting work will be monitored using GROUT I.T., a Soletanche Bachy, state-of-the-art computerized control and data collection system.

"We are very pleased to be part of such a renowned geotechnical construction team, working alongside Herrenknecht and Bouygues Civil Works Florida, Inc.," said Laurent Lefebvre, Executive Vice President, Nicholson Construction. "It's a great opportunity for Nicholson to demonstrate our expertise in all aspects of tunnel construction."

The project is owned by the Florida Department of Transportation, and the General Contractor is Bouygues Civil Works Florida, Inc.

The twin tunnels are expected to be operational by May of 2014.

About Nicholson Construction Company:
Nicholson is a versatile geotechnical contractor specializing in deep foundations, earth retention, ground treatment, and ground improvement. As the North American subsidiary of Soletanche Bachy, one of the world's leading geotechnical contractors, we are part of a global network of geotechnical resources and expertise. We work in a wide range of industries and environments, from power plants and dams, to bridges and skyscrapers. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, Nicholson has offices around the country to address each region's unique geotechnical construction needs.

Contact: Gretchen Connelly, 412-221-4500,

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