Utility Infrastructure

Wisconsin's $42 million broadband infrastructure grant sees overwhelming demand

Gov. Tony Evers and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) have announced that the Wisconsin Broadband Office received 124 applications requesting $221.6 million for the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program.

Illinois regulators slash gas utility rate hikes, halt controversial pipe-replacement program

(UI) — In a sweeping rebuff of four different utilities, Illinois regulators have sharply curtailed record rate hikes proposed for more than 4 million gas customers across the state, while also blocking most spending on a controversial pipe-replacement program that has fueled a heating affordability crisis for consumers in recent years.

New York Transco's $1.4 billion power line plan receives state nod

(UI) — New York Transco has received the green light from New York State's utilities regulator on Thursday for three transmission projects. As part of this comprehensive project, the developer plans to introduce three new underground cables linking Long Island to the broader state.

CGA’s GIS case study highlighting value in facility mapping information

(UI) — Common Ground Alliance (CGA) recently released a groundbreaking case study as part of its Next Practices Initiative titled “PILOT: Improving Efficiency and Reducing Damages by Providing Ticket-Level Visualizations of Underground Facilities to Designers, Locators and Excavators.”

CGA’s DIRT report correlates infrastructure investment with increased excavation damage

(UI) — Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the national nonprofit trade association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them and their communities, recently announced the findings from its 2022 Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT). It revealed concerning increases across key damage indicators.

USIC collaborates to align utility locating resources with BEAD program infrastructure deployment

(UI) — USIC announced that is collaborating with state broadband leaders and internet service providers to ensure the utility locating resources required to support nationwide broadband deployment funded by $42.45 billion in Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program grants over the next five years.

Contractor killed in San Francisco trench collapse, prompts investigation

(UI) — A contractor in San Francisco's Lower Haight died on Sept. 28 after a trench beneath a sidewalk collapsed. While five workers managed to escape, one male worker became trapped under eight feet of dirt and debris.

West Virginia American Water completes $27 million acquisition of Jefferson Utilities

(UI) — West Virginia American Water has completed the acquisition of Jefferson Utilities, including the assets of Jefferson Utilities, Inc., Valley Water and Sewer Services, Shenandoah Junction Public Sewer and East Jefferson Sewer Services for $27 million.

California utilities commission approve underground natural gas storage increase at site of nation’s largest methane leak

The California Public Utilities Commission voted 5-0 to permit underground storage of up to 68.6 billion cubic feet of gas at the vast Aliso Canyon field on the northern edge of Los Angeles County as a way to guard against fuel price spikes.

Houston and San Antonio face sewer, water struggles amid central US deadly heat wave

Deadly heat has gripped Texas for much of the summer and has now spread into other parts of the central U.S., where it is expected to persist for days. Triple-digit temperatures are buckling roads, straining water systems, and posing a threat to the power grid of the nation’s energy capital.

Federal judge orders utility to turn over customer information amid reports of improper water use

In a Monday court filing, U.S. District Court Judge Henry Wingate granted a motion by Ted Henifin — the federally appointed interim manager of Jackson’s water and sewer systems — that compels Entergy Mississippi to turn over names, addresses and contact information for customers in over 30 zip codes in the area.

Digitalization will power future of utility workforce, Info-Tech Research Group says

The utilities industry faces significant obstacles, including inadequate funding and resource support and a limited understanding of digital solution development. To overcome these challenges, utilities must gain a deeper understanding of their workforce and cultivate a culture that embraces openness to change.

Federal investigators find leaking natural gas pipe fitting at site of Pa. factory explosion that killed seven

The older fitting had a known tendency to crack, and it was added to a federal government list of pipe materials with “poor performance histories” in 2007, the safety board said. But it was left in place during utility work two years ago and remained connected to the natural gas system.

Achieving more accurate utility infrastructure mapping with the help of an app

(UI) — More than 217,000 utility damage events were reported in 2021, according to the latest Common Ground Alliance DIRT (Damage Information Reporting Tool) Report. The three leading causes of these reported utility strikes were: digging without calling 811, failure to pothole and/or maintain clearance, and locating issues due to incorrect and/or outdated maps.

VINCI Construction and GRDF enhance underground utility mapping with Exodigo

(UI) — Through VINCI's innovation platform, Leonard, the two companies partnered to demonstrate the accuracy and potential of Exodigo's AI-based solution for identifying and mapping underground utilities, Exodigo identified 57% more utility lines than shown on existing records.

San Rafael secures PG&E funding for Canal Area underground utilities upgrade

(UI) — To facilitate the project's progression, the San Rafael City Council has unanimously approved the establishment of an underground utility district for the designated area. This strategic move enables the city to leverage funding provided by Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

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.

Water bills for St. Louis residents could rise by 20% due to Board of Aldermen proposal

There is a chance that water costs for St. Louis households might increase significantly. Alderwoman Anne Schweitzer of the 1st Ward submitted a measure on Friday that would raise water costs by around 20%.

California water officials to replace 500 feet of sewer pipe in San Juan Capistrano

(UI) — From June 5 to 18, the Santa Margarita Water District will repair 500 feet of sewer pipes on Los Rios Street as part of San Juan Capistrano's sewer upgrade plans.

Trenchless methods: Trenchers remain valuable for utility construction

(UI) — In the 1970s, new residential developments were being built with all utilities underground. Of course, water, sewer, and gas lines always had been buried, but now telephone and electric dissertation wires were, too, as would cable television services that would come later.

CIGMAT 2023: Infrastructure, energy, geotechnical, flooding, sustainability issues

(UI) — The 28th “Infrastructure, Energy, Geotechnical, Flooding and Sustainable Issues Related to Houston and Other Major Cities,” organized by the Center for Innovative Grouting Materials and Technology (CIGMAT) and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Houston on was held back in March, at the University of Houston Hilton.

Info-Tech: Digitalization for utilities is a “double-edged” sword regarding cybersecurity

To protect the organization from cyberattacks, security leaders are expected to bridge the gap between strategy development and tactical implementation. A report from Info-Tech Research Group provides an overview of the current cybersecurity landscape for the utilities sector.

Peak Utility undergoes corporate realignment to improve utility, telecom services

As part of Peak’s growth strategy, the new structure will align the company’s businesses by region to better meet client needs and provide its customers with comprehensive utility and telecommunications services.

Common Ground Alliance: 55% of underground utility damage caused by professional contractors

The most common root cause of these damages was “no notification made to the 811 center,” meaning the damage could have been avoided if excavators contacted 811 to have utility lines marked prior to breaking ground.

Biden approves federal disaster relief for utilities in Vermont communities affected by winter storm

On Tuesday Gov. Phil Scott and the three members of the state’s congressional delegation said a preliminary damage assessment by the Federal Emergency Management Agency identified nearly $3 million in eligible costs from public and non-profit utilities in communities recovering from the storm.

Ditch Witch unveils largest all-terrain direction drill to optimize underground construction productivity

The AT120 gives operators the power and stability needed for efficient fiber, pipeline and utility installation through hard rock.

RodRadar signs $1.4 million deal with Sitech Tejas

(UI) — RodRadar, developers of groundbreaking imaging technology for detecting underground utility infrastructure during excavation, has entered into a $1.4 million agreement with SITECH Tejas, a HOLT company. The deal will see the North American dealer add RodRadar’s debut product, LDR Excavate, to its portfolio of heavy civil construction solutions.

1 person trapped when utility poles topple outside Boston

Seven utility poles along a suburban Boston street toppled into the road on Wednesday morning, trapping one driver, police said. Police received more than two dozen 911 calls when the poles came down along Montvale Avenue in Stoneham just north of Boston at about 9:30 a.m., police said in a statement.

Registration open for 17th ASCE UESI/BAMI-I Utility Investigation School

(UI) — The Buried Asset Management Institute – International (BAMI-I) and ASCE’S Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute (UESI) Pittsburgh chapter have teamed to conduct the 17th ASCE UESI/BAMI-I UIS School in 2023.

Common Ground Alliance issues “50 in 5” challenge to cut damages to buried utilities in half by 2028

(UI) – Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the national nonprofit trade association, has issued its “50 in 5” industry challenge to stakeholders with a goal of reducing damages to critical underground utilities by 50% in five years.