Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE)

Discussion created by DSTEGMAI_TXDOT on Mar 28, 2017

I am interested in seeing a Utility Template for SUE. A "SUE" is typically done prior to adding capacity to a major roadway (infrastructure). It is the the process of finding (different levels of data reliability are D,C,B,A) the approximate location of Utilities in the right-of-way of a highway or interstate, etc. When the roadway is set to be expanded the Utilities may be a problem in design and construction if not known in advance. The proper use of SUE handles most of this through records research (Quality Level D), direct observation (Survey of above ground appurtenances and correlating to Level D - Quality Level C), and the use of surface Geophysical Methods to determine the approximate horizontal location of underground utilties (Quality Level B- Designating). A spot location can be dug using non-destructive methods (air/water/vacumn) to ascertain the depth of a utility at a specific location (Quality Level A - Test Holes - Locating)


The fun thing about "SUE" is that once the lines are located they are often moved during construction and the new locations are not necessarily (seldom - if ever) tracked back into the original dataset. Therein lies the opportunity.


If there was a good template for GIS data there exists a possibility of transferring the information to GIS, tracking changes, and then (eventually) having a database with all Utilities in the Right-of-way of your transportation network.


Now, though SUE is expensive, some of the utilities will have been moved during construction and the entire dataset is unreliable. The original purpose of the SUE is accomplished but the information originally captured does not reach its potential.