Features

CIPP rehabilitation of pressurized pipelines

It is well known that CIPP has been around for over 50 years, primarily being used to rehabilitate gravity sewer pipelines. In the 1980s CIPP was introduced for low pressure sewer applications, and late in the 1990s began to emerge for water main and higher-pressure force main rehabilitations.

Water construction: Fusion in paradise

Just south of Miami, in the tropical paradise of the Florida Keys, a McElroy TracStar 412 spent most of winter 2023 onsite, fusing high-density polyethylene (HDPE) for a massive residential water line to service one of the area’s gated resorts.

Trenchers: Unsung hero of utility installation

Trenching, with its versatility and adaptability, remains a vital method for utility installation across various terrains and conditions. The wide array of trenching machines and attachments available today allows for efficient and effective utility installations, from small residential projects to large-scale industrial applications.

Sewer maintenance: Myth-busting, best-practice training

Sewer maintenance is an ongoing challenge for cities and municipalities. Moreover, gaps in best-practice training can cost public works departments unnecessary time and expense in labor, water and energy costs when cleaning sewer lines.

Harnessing advanced technologies for underground engineering success

Underground construction endeavors are intricate, demanding meticulous planning, execution and risk management. With billions of dollars invested and millions impacted annually, the stakes are monumental.

Insights and trends: Latest developments in utility and communications construction

The beginning of 2024 is shaping up to be just as dynamic as we had expected going into the year. The election stage is set for November, the Federal Reserve is trying to thread the needle between fighting inflation and making the “soft landing,” and most distressing, we all witnessed a terrible tragedy in the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

Inside infrastructure: Safety debate continues to address new, controversial subjects

Every four or five years, multiple committees in Congress undertake the responsibility of reauthorizing the nation’s pipeline safety program and the federal agency that oversees it.

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.

Fiber Broadband Association reports NA hit highest annual FTTH growth record

The Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) recently announced results of its 2023 North America Fiber Provider Survey. Performed by RVA LLC Market Research & Consulting (RVA), the research concludes that 2023 set a new record for the highest annual FTTH growth; nine million homes were newly passed by network operators last year alone, according to Mike Render, RVA founder and CEO.

First look: Vermeer introduces RTX1250 trencher

Vermeer introduced an improved version of the RTX1250 127-horsepower ride-on trencher tractor that accepts multiple attachments. This updated model has received significant improvements, including enhancements to the tracks, axles and plow retention pins, to optimize productivity in challenging working conditions.

Damage prevention and safety: Turning awareness into action

Surveys and studies reveal that professional excavators/contractors are highly aware of Common Ground Alliance’s (CGA) 811 initiative that requires they (as well as landscapers and homeowners) contact their state’s OneCall Center so underground utility lines are identified and marked before breaking ground.

Western sanctions impacting Russian underground infrastructure

The Russian sector of underground infrastructure construction is potentially in a serious crisis. The ever deepening shortage of funding and the lack of technologies are posing a threat for implementation of many investment projects and planned modernization of existing infrastructure.

Annual MVP awards luncheon to be held March 19 at UIC

Russ Ford, a senior associate at Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam Inc., will be honored as the underground infrastructure industry’s Most Valuable Professional (MVP) at a special luncheon on March 19, 2024, at the Oklahoma City Convention Center.

Unearth powerful education, networking opportunities at UIC 2024

The most anticipated conference dedicated to the installation, rehabilitation and asset management of the underground infrastructure is almost here. Join your peers Tuesday, March 19 to Thursday, March 21 at the Underground Infrastructure Conference (UIC) in vibrant Oklahoma City, Okla.

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).

PCCA takes workforce development, damage prevention efforts to the States

The PCCA has fought for increased funding for rural broadband and electric power, fewer regulatory roadblocks, faster permitting, damage prevention, workforce development, and more. But in 2023 and now into the new year, PCCA is taking a more active role in the states, especially when it comes to workforce development and damage prevention.

North America 2024 Pipeline Construction Outlook: New LNG Terminals Lead Call for More Pipelines

It comes as little surprise to those in midstream that during the past year, we have continued to see LNG initiatives garner more attention than pipeline projects. However, terminal construction drives new pipeline construction.

Challenges of repairing rural water lines in urbanizing areas

To make repairs, the BCWA team has primarily relied on trackhoes (backhoe loaders) and mini excavators. However, in some environments, using these common equipment fleet staples of most rural water associations can potentially cause additional damage that will need to be addressed.

Funding still flowing despite economic headwinds, challenges

The last two years in America’s municipal infrastructure industry have seen tremendous increases in project activities driven primarily by significant boosts in government funding. If you happened to be a consulting engineer, contractor or manufacturer/supplier, business has been good. Now, 2024 has the potential to be a great year for many in infrastructure.

Editor’s Log: Industry honors and celebrations

It’s officially awards season for the underground infrastructure industry with some amazing people, projects and technology being cited for market contributions.

Navigating, understanding hidden dangers of permit-required confined space entry

There are many occupations that require the safe performance of work when confined space is involved, including sewer structure rehabilitation, manhole entry and infrastructure inspection processes. Any incidents during confined space entry are of particular concern to health and safety, due to the hazards they pose to the potential victim and the attendant and rescue team. Understanding these hidden dangers are vital to a safe work site.

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.

2024 utility & communications construction outlook, update

Price increases to address products, fuel and labor have impacted total budgets for projects and, thus, the amount of infrastructure that can be installed. Despite the challenge, there is an equilibrium at the end of the track.

CIGMAT focuses on challenging research, technology transfer, information sharing

Established in 1984, at the University of Houston, the Center for Innovative Grouting Materials and Technology (CIGMAT) is dedicated to fostering improved understanding of grouting materials and their applications.

Outgoing DCA President Ray Swerdfeger stresses significance of local inclusion

Swerdfeger, the outgoing president of the Distribution Contractors Association (DCA), had the chance to grow up in the family business, working closely with his father. As a second-generation president following in his father's footsteps, Swerdfeger sat down with Underground Infrastructure for an exclusive interview. The discussion covered the accomplishments and directions of the DCA in 2023.

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.

Zoo requires unique, specialized approach to infrastructure construction of new exhibit

Discover how Longhorn Organics utilizes high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes in a groundbreaking project at Caldwell Zoo's Amazon River's Edge exhibit. With a focus on water features for giant otters and jaguars, this article explores the fusion of 7,000 feet of HDPE pipe, ensuring reliability and durability.

Tim Vivian, NASSCO Standard Bearer

This series of articles recognizes those who have not only been critical to the success of NASSCO, but the industry as well. This month, we profile Tim Vivian, a remarkable leader for NASSCO who has been instrumental in aiding the amazing growth of the association through various challenges, all while recognizing and maximizing opportunities.

Directional drilling: Underground firms donate time, skills, labor to Gary Sinise Foundation project

When word spread to William Hatcher’s coworkers at Mid America Energy Services Inc., that he was going to volunteer on a home build for the Gary Sinise Foundation, everybody wanted to jump on board.

Inside infrastructure: Addressing increasing hostility toward plastic products

It often seems like the ongoing assault on all things plastic has no end in sight. In the construction industry, shortsighted efforts to reduce production of, and access to, plastic products can have lasting impacts at a time when dilapidated infrastructure is finally getting the attention – and funding – it needs in the wake of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other recent legislation.