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Planning Road Improvements?

Perfect time to consider upgrading subsurface infrastructure

Utility and public works officials are keenly aware of our aging infrastructure, both in our water and wastewater treatment facilities as well as the infrastructure buried under our roadways that are in dire need of repair. This includes water mains and services, sanitary sewers and services, storm drains,gas distribution mains, and electric, telephone, and cable conduits.

Street reconstruction projects present an opportunity to improve and replace buried infrastructure. There is generally a significant  cost savings that occurss when completing multiple repairs at the same time, and preventing emergency repairs in the future.

When street surface improvements are necessary, a community should evaluate the age and condition of the utilities beneath the roadway. While the focus is typically on the municipality’s owned and operated utilities (often water, sanitary, and storm), it is also important to coordinate with private utilities companies (gas, electric, telephone, and cable) to give them an opportunity to access and/or replace their utility while the street is under construction. If the utility is constructed using inferior material (asbestos cement pipe, corrugated metal pipe, or the dreaded "Orangeburg” sewer pipe), or if it’s very old, it is recommend that the utility be replaced.

At the same time, consideration should be given to enhancements that may be necessary to improve overall service, operation, and maintenance. It may also be appropriate to consider partnership programs with property owners to address their private infrastructure services as well as any unwanted inflow and infiltration (I/I). 

A coordinated, simultaneous utility improvement effort will enable you to maximize economies of scale, achieve cost savings, and improve public and private infrastructure investments.

Copyright Wright-Pierce

    

Article Written By:

Ryan T. Wingard, P.E.
Senior Project Manager
Infrastructure Practice Group
Contact Ryan