Subsurface Utilities

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Substructure Utility Engineering, Coordination, and Project Services

SPEC Services provides planning, engineering, design, permitting, and project services for many types of subsurface utilities, including pipelines for oil, petroleum products, natural gas, industrial gas, water, stormwater, and wastewater, and other utilities, such as buried power systems and communication (fiber-optic) cables. Much of our success with subsurface utilities stems from our capabilities and expertise in Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE). SPEC has been providing subsurface utility engineering services for pipeline projects for 35 years, performing substructure research, documentation, utility investigations, and utility mapping. As a leader in pipeline engineering and construction management for the petroleum industry, we recognized early the importance of detailed collection and depiction of existing subsurface utility data, both in enhancing construction safety and in the economic payoff of well planned projects.

Because many of our pipeline projects are in highly developed urban areas, industrial centers, and ports, we developed special planning and investigation techniques to identify and locate substructures affecting the project. SPEC's research, compilation, mapping, and checking process is enhanced through the customized use of GIS. This detailed SUE work facilitates installation according to plan, and minimizes risk and actual damage to substructures in the area. The practice was named and the value defined by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in 2003, when it produced ASCE 38-02, “Standard Guideline for the Collection and Depiction of Existing Subsurface Utility Data.” Based on the knowledge and judgment of SPEC’s experienced professionals working in this area, SPEC has supplemented its procedures to incorporate and comply with the guidelines of ASCE 38-02 and take advantage of the standardized definitions for scope and process.

SPEC’s SUE team is comprised of Project Managers, Utility Coordinators, Utility Designers, Surveyors and Survey Technicians, Field Engineers, and individuals trained in geophysical applications. This specialized team supports SPEC in-house subsurface utility design projects, and performs SUE and Substructure Coordination services as part of large project teams for many road, railroad, freeway, bridge, and port development projects.

The SPEC SUE team provides and manages a full range of specialized subsurface utility engineering services including:

Utility Mapping with Comprehensive Data Recording: QLD utility mapping, QLC utility mapping, QLB utility mapping, QLA utility mapping; utility plans; 3D utility mapping for complex areas.

Utility Research with Thorough Documentation: utility records research; city, county, municipal and government, agency records search; utility easement and ROW research.

Utility Investigations (Project Site): field reconnaissance, utility survey, manhole dip operation, pipe and cable locator applications, planning and oversight of full geophysical investigations, strategic test hole location plans, planning and oversight of test hole operations.

Utility Relocation Design: preliminary relocation plans for all utility types; detailed utility design for oil, gas, water, wastewater, fiber optic, buried power lines.

Utility Coordination: utility owner coordination, utility relocation coordination, utility corridor coordination; utility and conflict matrices; conflict plans.

Consulting: utility relocation cost estimates, recommended scopes for utility investigations, SUE procedures, recommended utility risk management practices, and planning, scheduling, and estimating.

Other SUE Supportive Services: Topo mapping, traffic control plans, permitting, construction support, GIS asset management and deliverables.