Drilling under the LSU campus

A groundbreaking project at LSU utilizes horizontal directional drilling (HDD) technology to install two 1,600-foot HDPE pipes, modernizing the campus's chilled water supply and return systems while minimizing surface disruption.

Editor’s Log: And the smiles never stopped

In late March, UI wrapped another successful Underground Infrastructure Conference. Per usual, a wealth of information and market intelligence was gathered from remarkable speakers and experts in a variety of fields including sewer installation and rehabilitation, fiber optics, power, horizontal directional drilling, and safety.

Horizontal Directional Drilling Association to host HDDA Meeting and Training Conference in May 2024

Located at the Baton Rouge Marriot, HDD professionals will have the chance to dive into rig mechanics, learn how to identify utilities, discuss the importance of fluid control, among other important topics relevant to the HDD industry.

Trans Mountain completes pipe pullback for Mountain 3 HDD in Fraser Valley

Trans Mountain successfully completed the pipe pullback for the Mountain 3 Horizontal Directional Drill (HDD) in the Fraser Valley between Hope and Chilliwack, BC.

American Augers’ catch-rig technology speeds up intersect drilling process

To streamline the collaboration of two HDD rigs efficiently working together, American Augers developed what it calls “catch-rig” technology. The system is ideally suited for river crossings and long-distance bores that require a lot of time, machines and prep work on the trail pipe at the exit hole.

HDD Reunion, Hall of Fame celebration to be held at UIC

The biannual Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) Reunion and HDD Hall of Fame celebration will be held on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, at the Oklahoma City Convention Center in conjunction with the Underground Infrastructure Conference (UIC).

Trans Mountain faces new delays, technical challenges in Mountain 3 HDD pipeline pullback

Trans Mountain faces new delays in the completion of its oil export pipeline expansion, specifically during the pipeline pullback for the Mountain 3 Horizontal Directional Drill (HDD) from January 25 to 27, 2024.

Overcoming challenging HDD locating requirements

Electric Conduit Construction (ECC) recently completed a project in Alsip, Ill., which included running fiber optic cable 1.74 miles under roads, highways, canal and railroad track. Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) technology was used because the right-of-way was laced with existing utilities of all types, including fiber, power, gas, water, sewer and cables.

Crossing the Bay

West of Houston, the region’s petrochemical infrastructure creates a tangled maze of pipelines, roads, swamps and endangered ecosystems. Performing HDD operations here would challenge any contractor. Add a crossing under the Intercoastal Waterway to the mix – arguably the busiest commercial shipping channel in the United States – and you have a job that is not for the faint of heart.

Frank Canon, renowned figure in HDD industry, dies at 77

Frank Lynn Canon, 77, a pioneer in the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) industry, died on Jan. 5 in Magnolia, Texas. Born in Alpena, Mich., Canon’s journey from a lime-green polyester suit on his first day as an oilfield mud engineer to becoming a legendary educator in drilling fluids has left an indelible mark on the HDD community.

HDD ’24 Reunion will unite past, present and future

(UI) — The biannual Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) Reunion and HDD Hall of Fame ceremony will be held on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, at the Oklahoma City Convention Center in conjunction with the Underground Infrastructure Conference (UIC). Also at the conference will be the formal recognition of the HDD Hall of Fame Class of 2024.

Underground construction enters the virtual reality universe

(UI) — The Super Witch is incredibly popular, and at CONEXPO, the Metaverse offered a chance for people to put on the VR headset, pick up the corresponding hand controllers, and find themselves inside the cab.

Let your fluid cleaning system be the hero

(UI) — The role of drilling fluid on an HDD jobsite is a big one. It acts as a conveyor for removing solids from the bore hole, lubricates downhole tooling, cools electronics and stabilizes the hole. Keeping it clean and usable is an important job, and an essential one for contractors to stay profitable.

Islamorada Transmission Main Replacement Project reaches halfway mark two months ahead of schedule

In April 2023, crews began installing the new, cathodically protected transmission main via open-cut trench installation along US 1. Additionally, 900 feet of new transmission main has also been installed underwater at Tea Table Relief bridge crossing via horizontal directional drill (HDD), to protect it from high winds and storm surges.

Ditch Witch, Heavy Equipment Colleges of America to boost workforce development with new HDD training

Course materials cover everything from proper PPE and jobsite preparation to the importance of traffic control and equipment inspection procedures. Participants will receive hands-on training in mud mixing and drilling, along with HDD tracking and locating.

Despite challenges, HDD market continues impressive growth

(UI) — The 25th Annual Underground Infrastructure HDD Survey provides insight into the complex, yet generally lucrative, world of directional boring. Indeed, HDD is a technology that continues to expand to even further heights. It has clearly demonstrated how the introduction and development of this disruptive technology forever changed the face of utility and pipeline construction.

B&B Underground and Drilling tackles reclaimed water project

(UI) — While many HDD companies perform strictly small-diameter fiber work, those focused on larger water and sewer utility work are specialty companies. Building a team for the task can be more challenging, too. That’s why B&B Underground and Drilling emphasizes the importance of training.

Editor’s Log: A fiber road paved by HDD

(UI) — By the late ‘90s, fiber backbone construction was marching across the land like Sherman to Atlanta. It was the early version of cryptocurrency – every investor was going to become a multi-millionaire overnight. The market for directional drills hit unprecedented – and unrealistic – highs. HDD was the perfect technology to aid the expansion of fiber installation, along with trenching and plowing. It was the telecom version of the early 1980s oil boom.

Jacobs wraps up underground infrastructure for US wave energy test facility offshore Oregon

(UI) — All the conduits for this project were installed using horizontal directional drilling (HDD) techniques. The HDD technique was chosen because it didn't harm delicate wetlands and seashore regions and because it allowed the job to be done all year round, according to Jacobs.

Jacobs completes underground infrastructure engineering for first full-scale wave energy testing facility in U.S.

The project includes four offshore steel conduits up to 120 feet below the seafloor and extending a mile offshore, connecting to a bundle of five onshore high-density polyethylene (HDPE) conduits, all installed using horizontal directional drilling (HDD) methods and ultimately connecting to PacWave’s Utility Connection and Monitoring Facility.

‌HDD Association to hold free mud training school

(UI) — The recently formed Horizontal Directional Drilling Association (HDDA) will hold its first industry training session on May 18 at the Doubletree Hotel adjacent to Love Field in Dallas.

Fiber Broadband Association digs into microtrenching’s ability to close the digital equity gap

(UI) — The new Fiber Broadband Association white paper explores multiple fiber deployment styles, including microtrenching, horizontal directional drilling, plowing, conventional trenching, and missile boring.

HDD Association hosts complimentary mud training school

(UI) — The business meeting will begin at 9 a.m., on May 18, with an introduction as to the purpose and direction of the association. All utility and pipeline professionals with core or related HDD business are encouraged to attend. The program will be complimentary to HDD personnel.

Rewiring Florida’s Intracoastal Movable Bridges Via HDD

(UI) — The Florida Department of Transportation operates and maintains 51 movable bridges throughout the state’s eastern and western intracoastal areas. And in many popular tourist destinations, city municipalities operate many more. These moveable bridges are critical for boat traffic and over-the-road vehicles.

Subsite expands Marksman with HDD guidance system to streamline operator experience

(UI) — To streamline and simplify HDD guidance for operators completing shallow bore projects, Subsite has introduced The Marksman. It features single-button calibration, minimizing the risk of human error and speeding up the preparation process. Six frequency options and simplified features make the Marksman ideal for completing shallow bores for service installation, enabling operators to quickly move from one jobsite to the next.

Three Tips to Help HDD Professionals Select the Correct Frequency to Avoid Interference

And as our world continues to modernize, it is crucial that underground construction crews know how to navigate the complicated network of buried utilities.

Infinity Reamer Features Field-Replaceable Cutters

Infinity Tool MFG has introduced a PDC (polycrystalline diamond compact) horizontal directional drilling rock reamer with cutters that can be replaced in the field.

HDD Hall of Famers Helped Shape Modern Industry


John Hair and Frank Canon might have grown up on different sides of the HDD track, but they both made pioneering contributions to the future of the industry using specialized knowledge as a primary tool.

Michels Completes Over 15,000-foot HDD Crossing


Michels completes a 15,426-foot HDD project in North Dakota.

Making Difficult HDD Intersect Bores Practical

The North Houston Machine developed an HDD locking swivel that makes the process simpler and lasts longer.