OUR SERVICES: SUBSURFACE UTILITY ENGINEERING (SUE)
Core SUE Services:
•Utility Background Research
•3D Subsurface Mapping
•Ground Penetrating Radar
•Vacuum Excavation Services
Initial Cost: SUE costs average about 2% of a project’s total budget.
Example of Cost Savings to V&M Client:
City of Greenville, SC – West End Wastewater Project
• Actual Construction Cost – $20,000 under budgeted cost
• Construction Time Period – 20% ahead of schedule
“If we had encountered these utilities or the amount of granite that needed to be removed after the project had begun, rather that pre-planning for them, then the $750,000 project could have easily turned into a $1.5M or $2M project.
- Matthew Maxey, PE, the superintendent of Wastewater Operations, City of Greenville, SC
Our SUE service provides accurate mapping of existing underground utilities, eliminating the need to “find out the hard way” that plotted utility information was inaccurate. An SUE project begins with the research of available utility records. Then, utilizing records and our UTILOCATOR [an electronic utility locator], Vaughn & Melton locates and paints the utility at the ground’s surface. Vacuum excavation and field survey equipment then exposes and locates the utility both in the horizontal and vertical planes. Loosened soil and rock are then removed from the hole by the vacuum. This excavates a hole that is on average 12”x12” and as deep as required to expose the buried utility.
Advantages of SUE
The important advantage of utilizing SUE information is that the designer can know the exact location and depth of the existing utilities in areas that will be critical to the design & construction of any project that might affect the existing utilities before design begins.
If the designer acquires SUE information during original surveys, the direct benefits of utilizing this information result in:
Reduced cost & time to expose utilities
Reduced risk of damage to the utility during the location process
Avoid costs & damage of conventional location process
Reduced utility location costs
Reduced costs of plan revisions
Ability to schedule relocation, when necessary, before construction begins
Avoid project delays & construction change orders for utility conflicts
Reduce damage claims and risk of physical injuries that result of hitting and/or damaging a buried utility
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