Why use S.U.E.

S.U.E. can be used anytime you need information about utilities. The two main applications of S.U.E. are at the design stage of projects or to collect accurate information for an asset management project. The process followed is essentially the same regardless of the application. The difference is in scope of work and the use and presentation of the information.

When a S.U.E. investigation is carried out for a project prior to construction the main goal of the investigation is to collect accurate utility information in the project area to avoid unwanted utility issues later on in the project. In this type of application the geographical area of the project is usually well defined and the key is collecting enough information to reduce the utility related risk to an acceptable level.

In an asset management application, the project owner is often missing information about their underground utilities or realizes that information they have is flawed or incomplete. In this situation we would collect the required information to add to the asset management database. The Quality Levels described in the ASCE Standard can be used as a data attribute in the database so the user of the database knows how the utility information was collected.

S.U.E. Process also provides many benefits. Proper use of this cost-effective engineering service will eliminate many of the utility problems typically encountered on all types of construction projects, including:

 
  • Reduction in unforeseen utility conflicts and relocations
  • Reduction in project delays due to utility relocates
  • Reduction in claims and change orders
  • Reduction in delays due to utility cuts
  • Reduction in project contingency fees
  • Reduction in costs and delays caused by conflict redesign
  • Reduction in the cost of project design
  • Reduction in travel delays during construction to the motoring public
  • Improvement in contractor productivity and quality
  • Reduction in utility companies’ cost to repair damaged facilities
  • Minimization of utility customers’ loss of service  
 
  • Minimization of damage to existing pavements
  • Minimization of traffic disruption, increasing DOT public credibility
  • Improvement in working relationships between DOT and utilities
  • Increased efficiency of surveying activities by elimination of duplicate surveys
  • Facilitation of electronic mapping accuracy
  • Minimization of the chance of environmental damage
  • Inducement of savings in risk management and insurance
  • Introduction of the concept of a comprehensive SUE process
  • And most importantly less risk of underground utility damage resulting in death or personal injury, property damage, or releasing contaminants into the atmosphere.

Case Studies:  Federal Highway Administration Case Studies 

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