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Keeping the Public Safe

Many of our work sites are in congested utility corridors. For the most part these utilities are hidden underground. This is the safest place to put them. Increasingly all utilities are moving to underground repositories. It makes the streets more appealing and protects the utilities from extreme weather. This makes good sense until it becomes necessary to place more utilities in the same area. 

Bob Brown and crew

In the spring of 2016 one of our crews led by Mr. Bob Brown, was placing fiber optic cable by means of horizontal directional drilling (HDD). This method is very appealing to cities since it minimizes disturbance to roadways and only requires an exit and entry point. In this situation it is mandatory for our crews to call in utility locates and to follow our strict Utility Damage Prevention Plan. The bore, on this project, was directly across the roadway. Which meant that all existing utilities running parallel with the road, would have to be crossed at a ninety degree angle. The drill would either go over or under the existing utilities. 

In addition to sewer, water, storm drains, phone, electric and low pressure gas, there was also a 36" diameter high pressure gas main running through this site. The locator marked this main as being under the sidewalk. This meant that it was out of our drill path since we were coming up near the curb. Brown read the drawings supplied by our customer's engineering firm. The drawing showed the gas main in the street. Brown immediately called the gas company and requested a utility meeting. They responded and confirmed that the locates were wrong and the main was in fact in the street. They also thanked our crew for a outstanding work in preparation for the drill. 

These marks may look like graffiti but they tell an important story to our crews.

The attention to detail and diligence demonstrated by Brown and his crew surely avoided what could have been a major incident. This incident is also testimony to the training provided by our safety department and the Utility Damage Prevention Plan put in place by our operations staff. Our crews are true professionals and we thank them for being safe, productive, considerate, and, above all, keeping the public safe.

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