Subsurface Utility Engineering

Subsurface Utility Engineering (S.U.E.) is a combination of technology needed to increase the reliability of utility detection in terms of the size, depth, and pipeline materials that can be detected and exposed without incidence.

S.U.E. is a viable solution to the far too common “hits” to underground utility lines. Subsurface Utility Engineering is an all-around better method of locating subsurface utilities or buried cables. This field has grown increasingly popular, and is now being mandated by several federal and state highway administrations.

Advantages of using SSC Subsurface Utility Engineering Services:

  • Fewer conflicts with utilities
  • Reduce delays because of unforeseen conflicts and design changes
  • Elimination of added construction costs because unexpected utility adjustments
  • Fewer contractor claims based on utility delays
  • Chance of severing a utility line is greatly reduced and therefore the safety level is increased

S.U.E. Services Offered By SSC:

Data Analysis

Once a job has been negotiated and accepted, our project manager analyzes the data as provided by existing records or oral recollections. Necessary data is provided by the engineering staff and the S.U.E. Analysts and Surveyors are briefed as to what to expect on-site.

Designation & Location

Utility designation is the use of geophysical techniques to determine the existence and approximate location of existing underground utilities. SSC services may include records research, paint markings, traffic control, and field sketches. Surveying work is done utilizing benchmarks and necessary tie-ins are made to relate the project with real world coordinates.

SSC Boring location services include vacuum excavation (potholing service) which is used to create 0.3 to 0.5 m diameter holes to physically confirm the position and depth of an underground utility. A hole is first cut in the road pavement using a rotary core drill and then the excavation is advanced using compressed air jets in conjunction with a vacuum excavator wand. The excavation process will not normally damage an existing utility and the hole in the street pavement is kept to a minimum and is easily repaired. This procedure can only be used to confirm the position of known utilities or previously located utilities.

Evaluation & Reporting

Involves surveying the utility information obtained by designating and locating to the project control. Data is electronically collected in the field, processed, checked, and provided to clients in CAD or GIS format.

Modern utility mapping techniques that can be layered and detailed are utilized to produce base maps customized to client specific design requirements. They provide simple comparison of data for different pipelines and topography.

To create utility maps, survey information is converted into computer-generated plots in CADD format. Designation and location data is used to create a subsurface utility overlay of the existing road design. Test hole reports are made for each test hole with a computer-generated sketch of the test hole location and all other pertinent information to form a concise, informative data sheet for the utility, geographically referenced to the county Geographic Information Systems (GIS). A geographically accurate base map makes it easier to maintain the accuracy of a utility location as new jobs are designed and completed.

SSC provides state-of-the-art data management methods that allow a rapid interface between a field crew and a multi-utility database including:

  • Easy updating of utility records with new locating information
  • Field alerts as to discrepancies between expected positions of utilities and field measurements
  • Graphical displays of utility layouts in field based on most current information

Based on these factors and others, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has recognized Subsurface Utility Engineering as a professional engineering service and a necessary part of highway construction. This field has grown incrementally in the past few years and, by all indications, will continue to grow for years to come.

As industry experts in horizontal boring techniques, drilling, and vacuum excavating, we know that we can provide the most effective solution for underground-boring that requires a horizontal boring machine. Contact our horizontal boring company today and speak to us about your jack and bore project.

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What Our Clients Say:

  • “Just wanted to say thank you for the safety culture your company has. It’s a breath of fresh air to see other companies embracing being safe. I sat in on your crews’ safety meeting this morning prior to the start of their work on Ray Rd. “

    Scott Nunemaker – Vice President, RCCM

  • “Kuddos to your guys. Not once has any of your foreman’s EVER put up a fuss when I’ve asked them to work a little late. Response is always “whatever you want and we’ll stay as long as you need us to.” I really appreciate all the hard work they do for me. Thank you sir.”

    Travis Barrick – Field Supervisor, Felix Construction

  • “A big thank you to SSC for jumping on this quickly as they did to help the team get this information so quickly. It’s much appreciated and was pretty impressive to see 5 separate potholing crews descend upon Rio Salado the way they did today!”

    Christopher Laute, Resident Engineer, Valley Metro

  • We’ve used SSC for a number of years and I’ve been very pleased. Thanks and keep up the great work.

    Dave Klann, Staff Engineer, Mactec

  • SSC did a great job. Their assistance during pre-construction was greatly appreciated and differentiated them from the competition. Keep doing what you do best!

    Jim Drago, Sundt Construction

  • I called with short notice to some work and SSC responded immediately. In this market, dollars seem to control everything and quality of people and work seem to have diminished. The professionalism and hard work of your crew takes me back to when people knew what they were doing and cared. Intelligent guys that work […]

    Lonnie Ferguson, Project Manager, Construction 70

  • As a civil engineering consultant, I usually recommend your services but rarely use them with the exception being vacuum excavating. I have attended your seminars in the past and find them very helpful. I recommend continuing the education to make designers better. If we understand and know how to specify your service, we are more […]

    Bill Gasque, Sr. Civil Engineer, Dowl HKM

  • SSC handled the project perfectly even went above to schedule directly with the gas company, made my job easier.

    Tony Smith, Owner, Western Underground

  • You and your staff are always responsive to our needs and make sure you clearly understand the scope of the work in advance, so there are no surprises. I really appreciate that attitude.

    Michael Rhodes, Civil Engineer, Gila River Indian Community

  • Overall a good company. Very professional in approach and execution of work. Courtesy and respect shown by all personnel, a welcome rarity in the business. Keep doing what you’re doing, and thank you.

    M. Gartner, Project Manager, Sybrant Construction

  • We have been using your company’s services for about 3 years now. I have never heard a negative comment. Bringing Curtis on board is a definite plus as far as I am concerned. He keeps me informed about the work that I have done and he is very through and dependable.

    David Cross, Utility Coordinator, MCDOT

  • Your field crew did a great job!

    Nick Nikrant, Project Manager, Builders Guild

  • Crew was courteous & helpful.

    Jayde Bullard, Project Manager, Caljet of America, LLC.

  • This is the second time working with this foreman. Will request him again. Easy to work with.

    David Willett, Aero Automatic Sprinkler Co.

  • Superb foreman…Exceptional!

    Curtis Briggs, Shea Homes

  • Great work! SSC was timely, responsive and professional. I would use them again.

    Stewart Vaghti, Project Engineer, Gannett Fleming, Inc.

  • I have always had good and quick service from SSC.

    Sally Raymer, Sundt Construction

  • Arvid was very accommodating in getting crew onsite within 2 hours of my call.

    Dennis Sime, Project Superintendent, Hunter Contracting

  • First I want to express once again how impressed I am with you and your support group. You are all “top notch.” Yes the job went well and I appreciate your help. It really made a huge difference on such a critical facility. I still can’t believe (even though I saw it with my own […]

    David McKinley, VFC-Arizona

  • Great service on short notice. Thanks!

    Richard Komzelman, Carson Construction

  • The entire SSC crew was extremely professional and flexible. All of your company’s efforts are greatly appreciated and you will be our boring subcontractor on any future projects.

    Ben Myers, Project Manager, GRG Construction

  • Your team made this challenging casing push a success.

    Michael Fossett, Project Manager, SDB Inc.

  • Extensive knowledge of the local soil conditions coupled with their proven skills has insured that every job is completed within our schedule and budget. We’ve worked with SSC for many years and always found them to more than equal our high required standards and able to complete any task.

    Brian Chavez, Chief Estimator/Project Manager, Tyers Contracting

  • I would like to thank you for your prompt response to our urgent need for your services. The men you sent did a fantastic and quick bore. We do so appreciate your company for that. Thanks!

    Patricia Riggs, Town of Gila Bend

  • Our job was especially challenging. The SSC team worked six days, around the clock and the testimony to the success of their efforts is that the general public never knew they were here. An additional thanks to SSC for their professional courtesy. In our industry, it is something I do not encounter often enough.

    Chris McCoy, Superintendent, Gilbane Building Company

  • Your project manpower’s knowledge, attitude, safety and work ethic are outstanding!

    Mike Levi, Estimator/Project Manager, Holloman Corporation