Underground Infrastructure - July 2023 - 15

UTILITYINFRASTRUCTURE
Achieving More Accurate
Utility Infrastructure Mapping
with The Help of an App
More than 217,000 utility damage events
were reported in 2021, according to the
latest Common Ground Alliance (CGA)
DIRT (Damage Information Reporting
Tool) Report. The three leading causes
of these reported utility strikes were:
digging without calling 811, failure to
pothole and/or maintain clearance, and
locating issues due to incorrect and/or
outdated maps.
Steve Sellenriek, owner of Sellenriek
Construction, Sellenriek Energy and
UtiliSource, sits on the board of CGA.
According to him, the association estimates
that these events have an annual
$90-billion impact on the U.S. economy.
" As an organization, a lot of our efforts
go toward educating the general
public and contractors about the dangers
of digging without calling in locates first.
However, with today's technology, the
industry can do much more to reduce
utility strikes in the future, " he explained.
Sellenriek and UtiliSource President
Josh Hinrichs estimated that the construction
industry could save around
$45 million annually if a living map of
underground infrastructure was created
and updated in the same fashion as navigation
Apps used on smartphones today.
In the past, utility infrastructure mapping
was nearly impossible for the industry
because the technology to accurately
locate, record and share the data did not
exist. However, many new utility locators
are now equipped with GPS capabilities
that use global navigation satellite system
(GNSS) and real-time kinematic
positioning (RTK) services for pinpoint
accuracy. According to Sellenriek and
Hinrichs, when paired with the right
data-capturing tool, this technology will
make dynamic utility infrastructure mapping
possible in the very near future.
Mapping utility
infrastructure today
" The spatial accuracy of underground
mapping needs to be precise, " explained
Hinrichs.
Unfortunately, the industry is currently
providing only general mapping.
Sometimes, a person is lucky if a line is
drawn on the correct side of the street.
Historically, there hasn't been a push
for precision because it was too challenging,
and no one was sure who was
responsible for creating it. Therefore, the
idea of live underground infrastructure
mapping continues to be pushed to an
unknown future date.
" However, our organization has taken
it upon itself to pioneer more accurate
and up-to-date mapping technology, " he
said. " With all the advances in GPS techUndergroundInfrastructure.com
| JULY 2023 15
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Underground Infrastructure - July 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Underground Infrastructure - July 2023

Underground Infrastructure - July 2023 - 1
Underground Infrastructure - July 2023 - 2
Underground Infrastructure - July 2023 - 3
Underground Infrastructure - July 2023 - 4
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