Utility Locating Services for Great Northern Connect
Using underground pipe locators for major road projects, the projects may look simple when complete with new bitumen, white lines and new vegetation through 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, and lift freight capacity and efficiency. Importantly it will also eliminate four of the state’s most dangerous intersections.
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 pole 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 ones. 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 fibre, water pipes, high-pressure gas, and 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 fibre, we connect to tracker wires or ring clamps around the copper wires. Where the area has been scanned, marked or potholed via vacuum excavation all findings 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 networks and utilising an underground pipe locator greatly reduce damage to asset infrastructure and zero harm to personnel. The image below shows the existing timber pole for removal with underground utility services positions marked to AS 5488 colour code – Communications (White), Electrical (Orange), Water (Blue).