TTC Partners with UESI to Provide SUE Professional Training

More than 50 million miles of underground utilities exist in the United States. Existing utilities are at varied depths, in varied soils, made of different materials, are varied sizes and have varied access.

The importance of accurately locating and depicting existing underground utilities becomes more obvious each day to ensure successful construction projects. It has been reported that at least 70% of projects experience delays and budget overruns due to utility conflicts.

/** Advertisement **/

The 2018 Common Ground Alliance (CGA) Technical Report cited an upward trend in total damage from 439,000 in 2017 to 509,000 in 2018, representing a 16% increase. Inaccurate utility information means increased risk of utility hits. Late utility relocation raises public safety risks due to longer-lasting work zones and exposure to worker strikes and striking a utility line occurs every minute somewhere in the United States.

We must have an industry paradigm shift to reverse this trend. The industry is experiencing too much property damage and loss of lives. The Trenchless Technology Center (TTC) at Louisiana Tech University has responded to this crisis by partnering with ASCE’s Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute (UESI) to offer the 5-day Utility Investigation School (UIS).

/** Advertisement **/

TTC was established over 30 years ago as an Industry/University/Government Cooperative Research Center to advance the science and practice of trenchless technology (TT) through research, education and technology transfer. TTC hosted its first 2020 Utility Investigations School (UIS) developed with UESI on March 2-6, 2020. The class was intended to address the two performance goals of ASCE 38: How can a project be designed so as to have minimal utility issues during project development, and how can the professionals protect themselves against utility-related claims.

TTC/UESI UIS provided attendees the knowledge and tools to provide competent utility investigations in accordance with accepted national standards. Jim Anspach, Chair ASCE 38 and 2018 UESI President, developed the school curriculum. The course covered geophysics, utility systems construction and configuration, ASCE 38 risk-based presentations and professional liability issues. In addition to the classroom lectures, practical sessions were held where participants were offered hands-on experience with ground penetrating radar (GPR), pipe cable locator (PCL), and etc.

/** Advertisement **/

A total of 20 students attended this school from A/I/DATA, Cobb Fendley & Associates Inc., Ground Penetrating Radar Systems LLC (GPRS), KCI Technologies Inc., NTB Associates Inc., Procimec, SJB Group, LLC, Stiffler McGraw, Surveying & Mapping LLC (SAM), and Upper Trinity Regional Water District. Sensors & Software Inc. and ImpulseRadar US were the industry partners and sponsors for this school.

NUCA is a co-sponsor of the Utility Investigation School.

/** Advertisement **/

Les Guice (left) and Tom Iseley (right) present Vic Weston with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The TTC Life-Time Achievement Award

Vic Weston, who retired as the president and owner of Tri-State Road Boring Inc., based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, served as the 7th TTC UIS banquet guest speaker. Weston has served on the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Louisiana board of directors for more than 20 years, including a year as the organization’s state president.  He was selected a 2018 UCTA MVP (Most Valuable Professional) by the Underground Construction Technology Association (UCTA).

/** Advertisement **/

During the TTC UIS banquet, Weston was introduced by Dr. Les Guice, President of Louisiana Tech University, and Dr. Tom Iseley, Founder & Director of Development, TTC. They presented the TTC Life-Time Achievement Awards to Weston at the banquet.

Weston played a major leadership role in generating millions of dollars of construction industry support for construction education programs, something that has played a major role in increasing impacts across the state and nation. Weston has also been a strong supporter for innovations that our institutions could bring to Louisiana’s construction industry, such as the support that he helped secure for the Trenchless Technology Center. Weston and the construction industry that he leads have been role models for industry/academia collaborations and support that are now being replicated by other industries and states.

/** Advertisement **/

Weston assisted to make the Contractors Educational Trust Fund (CETF) a reality. The LA CETF is funded through the fines imposed by the Louisiana State Licensing Board of Contractors to contractors’ violations inside of Louisiana. CETF is a private board whose primary mission is to identify and fund educational programs that support the goals of the Louisiana construction industry. CETF was created by the LA Associated General Contractors (LAGC), through the state Licensing Board for Contractors. Dr. Iseley has held the CETF professorship for 6 years at Louisiana Tech University.

  Tags: , , ,