April 2021 Vol. 76 No. 4


Editor's Log

Editor's Log: Summing Up a Year: It’s a New Dawn

By Robert Carpenter, Editor-In-Chief As I write my column for the April issue of Underground Construction (I’m late as usual), I’m working from Carpenter Tower – basically part of the second floor of my house.  For more than..



Multiple Utility Workers Hurt in Gas Explosion Near Houston  Utility workers trying to repair a broken gas line north of Houston struck another one, causing an explosion that injured six of them, including one critically, authorities said.  The explosion happened Friday in Klein, said Rachel Neutz..

Washington Watch

Washington Watch: FERC Kicks Off Broad Pipeline Approval Re-Examination

By Stephen Barlas, Washington D.C. Editor Clouds are gathering over future pipeline construction as the President Biden administration’s environmental focus begins to seep into Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) initiatives.  The commission, with Democratic Chairman Richard Glick doing th..


2021 Utility & Communications Construction Update

By Daniel Shumate, Managing Director, FMI Capital Advisors Inc. As we contrast March of 2020 to March of 2021, the changes are truly unprecedented. Beginning in March of 2020, over 22 million would lose jobs within two months, most of the American economy was put on life support, and we knew very l..

1970s: Bursting the Pipeline Construction Bubble
75th Anniversary

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of an ongoing series outlining the past several decades of underground infrastructure construction and rehabilitation as seen through the lens of Underground Construction magazine which is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2021. This month, we review highlights ..

Profiles in Underground Construction

BLD Services LLC  THEN  Incorporated in 2001 by Brad L. Dutruch as a full-service municipal and public works construction company in Kenner, La. Initially installed lateral CIPP technology in the Southeastern U.S., incl..

Pandemic Puts Hold on Southern Africa’s Water Tunnel Projects

By Shem Oirere, Contributing Editor As the COVID-19 pandemic’s unpredictable trend causes cancellation or delay of infrastructure projects globally, South Africa and its neighbor Lesotho are grappling with disruption of the second phase of the $1.5-billion Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP), Af..

Collaboration Secures the Success of Rehab Bypass Project

By Justin Childers, regional strategic account manager – pump solutions, Sunbelt Rentals  Rehabilitation bypass projects are no easy feat. They require careful planning, a thorough risk assessment and most importantly, solid partnerships to get the job done safely and effectively.  ..

Delivering Water and Sewer Services to Savannah’s Manufacturing Center

A crew of 10 horizontal directional drilling (HDD) professionals with D&C Directional Boring, based in Townsend, Ga., is wrapping up a long summer project outside Savannah’s busy ports.  Its work has been part of the Savannah..

Trenchless Projects in the Borough of Queens Minimizes Disruption

Maintaining the extensive sewer system throughout the five boroughs of New York City is a full-time endeavor. Public works construction repairs create work zones with significant concerns for both the general public and construction workers. Traffic disruptions in major cities, like New York City, a..

Getting Back to REAL Business

Planning for this summer’s Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exhibition (UCT) at the Music City Center in Nashville is in full gear. The pre-UCT programs are on Monday, July 12 and the main program and exhibits are Tuesday, July 13 to Thursday, July 15.  ..



American Augers/Trencor Products Now Sold Through Ditch Witch Division  The Ditch Witch Division of Charles Machine Works will now offer the full product lines, parts and service for both the American Augers and Trencor brands, which will continue to be manufactured in West Salem, Ohio.  “This is ..

Wyo-Ben Introduces A New Website

A new Wyo-Ben® Inc. website is live. The bentonite production leader’s homepage now features aerial footage of a Wyo-Ben production facility and bentonite “pie pan” outcroppings that create a surreal landscape at one of its Big Horn Basin resources. The homepage provides access to Wyo-Ben product li..

Heather Dodson

Heather Dodson, P.E., LEED, is the new leader of the Pittsburgh office for Walnut Creek, Calif.-based, environmental engineering and construction firm Brown and Caldwell. In this role, she is responsible for expanding the firm..

Jeremy N. Nakashima

Planning, engineering and program management firm Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. (LAN) has promoted Jeremy N. Nakashima, P.E., to vice president. Nakashima, who joined LAN in 2010, has more than 26 years of experience as a ..

Rehab Technology

Rehab News

Leadership Transition at HammerHead Trenchless  Jeff Gabrielse has been named managing director of the HammerHead Trenchless brand within the newly formed Rehabilitation and Replacement (R&R) division of The Toro Company. In this leadership position, he will continue HammerHead R&R’s focus on deliv..

Rehab Technology Spotlight: Lining Systems

Applied Felts  Using only the highest quality raw materials available, Applied Felts’ flame- or stitch-bonded, highly durable PU- and PP-coated liners allow for more extreme environmental and installation requirements, while ..

New Products

New Products

Portacool Hazardous Location Evaporative Coolers Aid Heat-Stress Prevention  Portacool Hazardous Location evaporative coolers provide cooling to aid heat stress prevention, ensuring workers in high-heat environments, where combustibles are a concern, don’t have to sacrifice comfort and safety becau..