Trends Spring 2017 | Page 12

How SUE Data Typically is Used The Federal Highway Administration encourages the use of SUE on most highway projects. The agency offers the following guidance for state agencies, engineers, and designers regarding SUE: • The highway agency assumes responsibility for taking appropriate actions to consider and deal with utility risks. On many small projects, where few subsurface utilities are present, or where information about subsurface utilities is believed to be generally accurate and comprehensive, this will only involve making a conscious decision to proceed with the project using readily available information. • On larger, more complex projects, the state highway agency may elect to use a SUE provider to obtain expert advice and to use available technologies to provide better information. The engineer, when involved, will advise the highway agency of utility risks and recommend an appropriate quality level of utility data (A, B, C, or D) for a given project area during project planning and design. The highway agency will then specify to the engineer the desired quality level of utility data. • The engineer will furnish the desired utility quality level to the highway agency in accordance with the standard of care and will be responsible for negligent errors and/or omissions in the utility data for the certified utility quality level. Source: Federal Highway Administration Continued from page 10 “Preliminary design – or redesign, if necessary – can occur much more efficiently and cost-effectively,” she said. “Also, the responsibility for damage caused from utility strikes or last-minute relocations is increasingly falling on design engineers in addition to contractors. “It makes it much more critical to look at the data when an engineer is doing their design, rather than waiting for something to happen in the field during construction and saying, ‘Oh, I should have moved that telephone line,’ ” she said. “When you cut a telephone line, are you cutting off the 911 system? Are you cutting off somebody calling the hospital? Are you cutting off a giant bank transaction? When you don’t find that gas line, are you endangering your worker?” TAMPA, FLORIDA The Beck Group hired Ayres recently to locate utilities for several projects, including expansion work at Tampa International Airport and improvements at TECO Peoples Gas’ Eastern Operation Center in Tampa. “We put together an Excavation Method 12│ TRENDS