RICHMOND, VA —  The Norfolk-Virginia Beach office of VSC Fire & Security, Inc. recently completed installing a fire suppression system in the new U.S. 58 Midtown tunnel that connects Norfolk, Virginia to Portsmouth, Virginia.

The multimillion dollar project contains 35 Bermad/Victaulic on off deluge valves and about 10,000 linear feet of schedule 40 galvanized 6 and 8-inch pipe.  The unique system is designed to release two deluge systems at a one time.  Each system contains 16 large orifice open heads.   The design narrative by the consulting engineers of Parsons Brinckerhoff dictated that the system be capable of handling a fire incident that involved a large, 18-wheel vehicle fire.

The detection and releasing of the deluge valves is handled by a Supervising Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system.  The SCADA system directs most of the control operation of the tunnel systems including electronics, air handling, cameras, security and the fire detection.  Once a system is activated the operations manager has the capability of remotely and electronically closing or reopening the deluge valve as needed.

The tunnel length is 4,000 feet and the tight quarters created many challenging conditions and required creative solutions.  Much of the full lengths sticks of 6 and 8-inch pipe had to be manually handled and walked into place via large wheeled “grasshoppers” that sorely tested the thighs and arms of some dedicated men.  The schedule was extremely condensed and required 14 VSC Fire & Security, Inc. team members five days a week and 21 team members on the weekends.

he tunnel length is 4,000 feet and the tight quarters created many challenging conditions and required creative solutions.

“The project was an extreme test of the offices capabilities and left no segment unchallenged.  Many thanks and deserving gratitude to project management, field supervision, purchasing, admin, design and field staff for an extraordinary effort and accomplishment,” said Mike Meehan, district manager for the Virginia Beach office of VSC Fire & Security, Inc. and senior vice president of the company.

VSC Fire & Security, Inc., established in 1958, is a privately held company based in Ashland, Virginia.  Currently VSC Fire & Security, Inc. employs more than 900 people and has annual revenue exceeding $130 million.  The company provides integrated fire protection, life safety and security solutions for and inspection of fire suppression, fire detection, fire sprinklers, alarms and security systems. Offices are in Baltimore, MD; Washington, DC; Richmond, VA; Virginia Beach, VA; Salem, VA; Raleigh, NC; Charlotte, NC; Myrtle Beach, SC; Charleston, SC; Atlanta, GA; Orlando, FL; Tampa, FL; Mobile, AL; and Orange Beach, AL.