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Utility locating services for Great Northern Connect

Brief summary

Using underground pipe locator for major road projects, the projects may look simple when complete with new bitumen, white lines and new vegetation though a lot of planning and infrastructure works were conducted prior i.e. such as changing the power poles to raise the electrical wires for vehicle clearance.

 Guildford Rd to Muchea Rd

The northern link highway between Morley and Muchea will provide a northern gateway to commercial and industrial areas, reduce urban congestion, improve road safety, lift freight capacity and efficiency. Importantly it will also eliminate four of the state’s most dangerous intersection.

Although new construction is on vast areas of undeveloped land existing overhead and underground utility services will require relocation, upgrade or replacement such as the current timber poles with HV transmission cables. The power poles cabling that is presently crossing the new highway corridor is hanging to low which would restrict large vehicle access when the highway is complete. The solution to fix the low hanging wires is to install new taller engineered transmission poles to replace the existing. Sounds simple “pull out the old and stick in a new taller one” not so! With old power poles installed many years ago new underground utility services have been added next to the poles along the same alignment, such as telecommunication cables – copper wires and optical fiber, water pipes, high pressure gas, electrical power. These services such as the water pipe need to be located by an underground pipe locator.

Westscan’s underground pipe locator used ground penetrating radar and EM pipe locating equipment to accurately detect the position of the buried utility services and for optical fiber we connect to tracker wires or ring clamp around the copper wires. Where the area has been scanned, marked or pot holed via vacuum excavation all finding are surveyed and documented for site reporting and sent to the project manager, who now has a clear detail of the buried utility services allowing further preparation and engineering if required to protect and maintain the integrity of the utility assets.

The benefits of utility locating services to identify underground pipe and cable network and utilising an underground pipe locator greatly reduce damage to asset infrastructure and zero harm to personnel. Image below shows existing timber pole for removal with underground utility services positions marked to AS 5488 colour code – Communications (White), Electrical (Orange), Water (Blue).

Underground Pipe Locator