The urban underground has become a spider’s web of utility lines, including phones, electricity, gas, cable TV, fiber optics, traffic signals, street lighting circuits, drainage and sanitary sewers and water mains. Utility damages during construction are very significant and on the rise, resulting in construction delays, design changes, claims, property damages, service breakdowns, disruption of neighboring businesses and even injuries and lost lives. The American Institute of Constructors (AIC) reported that damage to utility lines is the third most significant crisis for contractors. The state-of-the-art and the state-of-the-practice imaging technologies that have potential for being applied in locating underground utilities were identified through literature review and case studies and the conditions under which use of these technologies are most appropriate were analyzed. Based on the characterizations of imaging technologies, a decision tool named IMAGTECH was developed in order to provide site engineers/technicians with a user-friendly tool in selecting appropriate imaging technologies. Quantitative data based on questionnaire surveys to State Department of Transportations (DOTs) and Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) providers was used to present comprehensive insight into the various aspects of the rapidly growing market in SUE. A multimedia educational tool was also developed to facilitate a better understanding of underground utility locating systems by the many in the construction domain, particularly entry-level engineers who are relatively unfamiliar with these technologies.

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Subsurface Utility Engineering, One-Call System, Pipe and Cable Locators, Metal Detectors, Electronic Marker Systems, Terrain Conductivity Meter, Ground Penetrating Radar, Acoustic Emission Method, Resistivity Method, Infrared Thermography Method, Micro-gravitational Method, IMAGTECH, Decision Support System, Multimedia Educational Tool., SPR-2451

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Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

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