Excavators. Pile drivers. Bulldozers. Augers and drilling rigs.

All mainstay pieces of equipment for any large construction project.

What happens when one of those hits an underground utility line? What if it’s a gas line and could cause an explosion? What if it’s an electric line and poses risk of electrocution or fire? What if it disrupts the power for businesses and residences?

What if it’s the three main electrical cables to a major beach vacation destination in the middle of summer?

Such a fate recently befell a construction company building a bridge in North Carolina. The company drove a steel casing into the major transmission cables, severing one and compromising the other two.

While the construction company and main electric provider to the area are working around the clock to bring the electric back online – since thousands of people and homes are without air conditioning, refrigeration, and light at the busiest time of year – it won’t be instantaneous.

Accidents happen all the time, but situations like this can be avoided by locating utilities underground in advance. And better yet, it will significantly reduce your risk as a developer – keeping workers safe and area residents and businesses unaffected by utility problems when digging.

Even if you’ve called 811 and utilities are marked, keep in mind public utility workers will only mark what their public utility owns, and only if it’s recorded on a map.

They don’t mark privately owned underground lines. They don’t mark abandoned lines. They don’t mark inactive piping or cables.

For your project, you’ll need more than that. You’ll need the assurance and confidence that something risky – large or small – will be avoided.r

Go beyond 811 to RETTEW’s Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) experts. We use a wide variety of technology to complete private and comprehensive utility locates. We have every tool available to meet the precise need. Learn more about our SUE services here!