Local News

July 5, 2017


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Written by: Reggie Hales

HARTFORD, CT – The Metropolitan District (MDC) announced the name of the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) as part of a naming contest held at the Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker in Hartford. The TBM is designed to bore a tunnel from Hartford to West Hartford as part of the South Hartford Conveyance and Storage Tunnel (SHCST) project, a four-mile long deep rock tunnel designed to store combined wastewater and stormwater during rain events to minimize sewage overflows into local waterways and the Connecticut River. The tunnel is a key component of the MDC’s Clean Water Project.
Traditionally, a TBM does not start work until it is given a name and is usually named after a woman as a sign of good luck for the project ahead. The school was chosen by the MDC for the naming contest as when completed, the tunnel will travel under the school campus. In addition, the school’s environmental science curriculum was a logical fit.

6th grader’s essay wins naming contest for MDC Tunnel Project…From Left to Right – Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker Principal Lindsey Thompson, MDC Tunnel Boring Machine naming contest winner Cylese Diaz and finalists Jirmani Muth and Priscilla Soto.

In March, the MDC gave an interactive presentation to the students explaining the purpose of the SHCST project. MDC staff worked with school faculty to organize a contest where students submitted essays with supporting arguments for why the name they came up with should be chosen for the TBM. After the contest was narrowed to three finalists, the students voted on their favorite name.

In her winning essay, 6th grader Cylese Diaz submitted the name “Iris”, citing that the name originated from the Greek definition of the word “rainbow”, and from the Greek goddess who personified the rainbow. The author stated that the tunnel will allow everyone to enjoy the “rainbow, which appears after the storm” as its function is to collect stormwater and wastewater during rain events. MDC representatives for the project attended an event at the school and presented Cylese with an award for her essay. Principal Lyndsey Thompson stated, “Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker is pleased to have been chosen to have their students name the Tunnel Boring Machine with MDC and to be able to learn from the entire tunnel digging project! These are the experiences we look for to help our students see how what they are learning in school directly applies to the world around them!” “We are excited to partner with a Hartford school to commemorate the naming of the machine that will build the MDC’s historic tunnel,” said MDC CEO Scott Jellison. Construction on the project is underway and the TBM is scheduled to arrive this Fall.

About the Author

Reggie Hales



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