Forest City to Marion gas line

M-064, Forest City to Marion, NC gas line


CLIENT: Dominion (PSNC)


Vaughn & Melton began work on M-64 in November of 2017. At the onset of each phase Vaughn & Melton sent Project Notification and Survey Notification letters to each affected property owner at least 30 days before field work began. In certain situations, our land agents contacted the property owners and obtained right of entry for our field work to begin ahead of the 30 days. At the onset of the construction, a Construction Notification letter was sent out to all affected owners.



Weekly meetings were held throughout the project—with Dominion and others—which was key to the success of this project. The weekly meetings consisted of status updates from the different disciplines involved with the project. Goals were set and action items were assigned. Time was also spent with routing and engineering. These brain-storming sessions created solutions to problems as they were identified. Through this process we felt Dominion was always a part of the conversation—never left in the dark—and we felt a part of Dominion’s team to realize the goal of successfully getting the gas line completed.


A field office was set up by V&M near the project which provided our Land Agents a base of operations to store files and meet with property owners when necessary. This office was used by our surveyors extensively for uploads and download of data and storage of supplies. Our weekly meetings were also held there when necessary, especially during the construction phase.


Vaughn & Melton’s IT department also played a vital role in setting up a shared file system. This system allowed files to be stored in a location available to Dominion and V&M jointly. This system also housed “live” documents that could be updated directly and instantly available to the team.


Our Land Agents conducted research of deeds, utility records and existing NCDOT rights-of-ways. Our Survey Staff took this information, reduced the data in CADD and disseminated to our field crews. This greatly expedited the field work for property surveys. Our GIS professionals worked with the Land Agents and created a data base linked to Google Earth that used existing county GIS property shape files. The contacted and acquisition status of each parcel was color coded to provide a quick visual status. Our Land Agents were in contact with over 1200 property owners. Our agents helped Dominion facilitate public meetings in different communities, when necessary. During construction we had an agent assigned solely to interact with property owners and the public ahead of the construction crews to address any unforeseen issues arising from construction.


Our SUE crews performed Level B SUE using the utility records as reference. They located underground utilities along the route utilizing geophysical locators and GPR technologies. Locations were completed ahead of survey crews for inclusion in the planimetric and topological surveys. Level A SUE “Test Holes” were performed on utilities where possible conflicts arose during our routing processes.


Our Environmental Natural Resource scientist and technicians reviewed routes, conducted wetland delineations, and prepared the necessary permit paperwork for the USACE, USFWS and NCDWR. We also monitored and collected turbidity levels of bodies of water during Horizontal directional drilling at Dominion’s request.


Vaughn & Melton provided a diverse range of Surveying Services from beginning to end of the M-64 project. Survey field work began with a GPS control network along the entire anticipated route, Control pairs were set at a maximum of one-mile intervals. Utilizing NC VRS network, multiple observations were made at random over different days to ensure the inclusion of different satellite constellations to constrain positional accuracies more rigorously. NCGS grid monuments were also located in this phase of the surveying as a QC check and for use as ties. Aerial control panels were set and coordinated. Subcontracted Photogrammetry and NC One Map’s Lidar was used in strategic areas along the route to aid in expediting routing decisions. Conventional survey control was traversed along the entire project. Property, topological, planimetric, and hydrographic surveys were conducted along the entire route. The Survey data was compiled and 2D and 3D files were produced in CADD. These CADD products were exported into Google earth format as a tool to use in design/routing meetings. We also surveyed and tied over 1200 properties and created over 200 easement exhibits for this project.


V&M conducted construction staking along the entire route. We staked centerline of pipe, clearing limits, easements, entrance and exits of bores, and erosion control measures.


Vaughn & Melton’s surveyors conducted as-built surveys of the M-64 Pipeline throughout the construction phase. This process started when the pipe was delivered to the laydown yard. Each pipe was measured and heat numbers collected, after which each pipe was marked with an identifying number. All this data was recorded and entered in spread sheet and trimble pipes program on our surveyor’s data collectors. When the pipe was installed our surveyor used conventional total stations and GPS located on each joint to collect x-ray numbers, welder information and pipe identifying numbers. When the Construction contractors cut any pipe our surveyors would record the pipe lengths. The reminders or “Pups” were marked with identifying numbers and tracked like the original pipe. The data collected was uploaded on a daily basis, Our GIS professionals took this information, then created and updated an as-built data base. This data base was one of our final deliverables in each phase. V&M Surveyors were present anytime the construction contractors were working, and a lot of times while other phases were in the process of pre-construction surveys. At times V&M had as many as survey 6 crews working on this project at any given time.


Our Engineering department created erosion control plans along the entire route and laydown yards. These plans were submitted and approved form NCDENR and erosion control permits were issued. Our erosion control lead presented these plans to potential contractors at pre-construction bid meetings for each phase. We also created full construction plans for the project, including design plan and profile used for construction.

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