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- Directional Drilling
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Case Study: The Race to the Chicago Marathon
Running for Alzheimers. She would complete the run in 4 hours
Every fall the Chicago Marathon draws over 1.5 million people. The City welcomes them with open arms. Restaurants fill to capacity, it is hard to get a hotel room, traffic is snarled, parking is impossible and cellular networks are stressed, especially on race day. Despite the best planning by wireless providers, these big events can throw a monkey wrench in the machinery. When the network becomes overloaded customers become unhappy and the carriers hear about it in real time. Electric Conduit Construction (ECC) has played a key role in building more capacity into existing networks. We added capacity around Grant Park ahead of Lalapalooza. This made a tremendous difference for users. Latency, the time required to retrieve data, was shortened and more people were able to make calls, send and receive data, with no lag. The system functioned as designed.
Image showing the race route in green and ECC work sites in magenta pins
This year the route marathon route was changed significantly from past years. Just moving a couple of blocks can make the difference between a clear signal and no signal. ECC received work orders around September 6th. The Marathon launched on October 7th at 7:00 am. Our crews had to complete their work and all surfaces had to be restored to original condition. This meant that all paving, concrete, curbs, striping, landscaping had to be completed in advance of the Marathon in less than a month.
Working in any city is no picnic. The City of Chicago is no exception and there are a lot of people to keep happy within CDOT, OUC, Residents, and the Ward Aldermen. Any work involving utilities is very disruptive. Streets are narrowed, heavy equipment is brought in and maneuvers in very tight areas, pedestrian and bicycle traffic are a constant concern to our crews. We have had pedestrian, mesmerized by texting, fall across barriers and into fresh concrete. Now make the crews work 6 12 hour days under the pressure of completing directional drills, open cut trenching, removing and replacing street lights with stronger poles for small cell antennas, and you have the potential for things to go wrong in a hurry. in the middle of this build the race organizers decided to change the route again causing the crews to scramble to complete restoration work.
Bucket truck ready to place new pole (L), Buried trolley rails slow down trenching (C), Buried conduite carrying fiber and power to small cell site (R)
Fortunately our crews are very professional, they work safely and the watch out for the public. The crews used directional drilling equipment to bore over 1,300 feet and pull back conduit. Our trench crews opened up over 1,480 feet of street and placed multiple conduits of variois diaeters. 7,000-8,000 feet of fiber optic cable and power wire were pulled, terminated, spliced and tested. Four small cell units were mounted, connected to radios, power, fiber and tested. Here are a few email comments that were exchanged along the way:
View our case studies to get a better insight on how we do business and how we can help you on your next project.
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- The Race to the Chicago Marathon
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For over 60 years, we’ve built an environment within our company where safety is everyone’s responsibility. Every phase of every project, we accept nothing less than an accident-free jobsite. We believe this standard leads to safer and more productive jobsites and that’s why we’re dedicated to having the highest level of protection for our employees, our customers and the general public. That’s our standard.
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- 700 Tower Antenna and Small Cell Sites 2013
- 1 million ft. of pipe installed by Trench
- 6,000 Communication and power cabinets installed