Underground Construction - June 2020 - 6

EDITOR'S LOG

Robert Carpenter | Editor-in-Chief

Changes in a Viral World

At press time in late May, most of the
nation - and indeed, much of the world -
was attempting to slowly return to normal.
At first glance, this slow, deliberate and
cautious path was effective as masked faces
began to leave their houses and experience
life again, just in time for summer.
Unquestionably, the Covid-19 virus
changed our way of life; much of our
work practices changed accordingly and
dramatically, as well. No doubt, that
change applies to various underground
infrastructure markets as well.
Our quarantined nation dived into a
work-from-home "new normal" at levels
heretofore undreamed of in modern culture.
America discovered that the conveniences
and necessities of modern communications
could not be underestimated nor overlooked
to maintain a robust delivery of service and
the needs of working Americans.
Service upgrades and fiber-to-the-home
subscriptions jumped in numbers as
workers strived to better position themselves to enable first-class project delivery
and productive performance. Streaming
entertainment took on an even great role.
For the most part, where possible and
practical, America's broadband network
has performed admirably under extreme
duress and unimagined challenges.
It is anticipated that working from
home, which was already a steadily growing
6

trend and now a verifiable success on a
wide-spread basis, will continue to trend
at a high level. Demand for broadband
services is accelerating from already record
levels. Life has changed and it now involves
working from locations other than just the
office. Executive personnel, who themselves
were forced to stay at home, discovered the
largely seamless transition of personnel to a
new and productive work environment.
Insurance companies, teaming with
doctor's offices and hospitals, had already
been promoting the benefits of teledocs.
Broadband provides the opportunity for
easy sharing and access of massive data
contained in medical records. Combine that
with high-quality video and records access,
and the pandemic pushed the medical
community into even more rapid teledoc
expansion and applications. Office visits are
going to see a substantial decrease as these
services continue to improve. Broadband is
making that possible and practical.
Through it all, the horizontal directional
drilling (HDD) industry continues to play
an essential role in the broadband and 5G
buildout. As our annual HDD survey (see
page 18) reveals, most contractors involved
in those markets experienced very little
slowdown in work as the coronavirus hit
its peak. On the contrary, with the need for
broadband and 5G services, contractors in
those fields remain in high demand.
On the other hand, large HDD operators
saw a nightmare scenario. With much of
their work linked to energy, the slowdown
in pipeline construction became a disaster.
The Saudi Arabia-Russia price war,
combined with a net loss of 30 percent of
oil and gas usage from slowed economies,
ground the energy market to an inevitable
halt. The U.S. shale industry was caught
squarely in the middle.
As is well-documented, the Green New
Deal radical segment of Congress relished
the crash of the oil and gas market. Thus,
the pipeline market is carefully considering
its path as all-out war with environmental
zealots will most likely intensify yet again

as the virus threat fades. That situation
has already cost the industry billions in
canceled pipelines and project delays.
Combining the environmental issues
with international political manipulations
and a struggling economy paints an
extraordinarily complex picture for the
immediate future of energy. The good news
is that oil prices have already displayed
remarkable resiliency as the economy starts
back up. Still, the oil and gas industry faces
an incredible headwind moving into the
second half of 2020. The question becomes:
how long before pipeline work resumes
and HDD services return?
For the underground rehabilitation
industry, the struggle to survive in the pandemic world has been a mixed bag of results.
We hear everything about rehab projects,
ranging from markets being just "fair" to
"pretty good," to "we can't keep up we're
so busy." The danger with sewer and water
work is that as usage falls for such services,
so does revenue. And with people confined
to homes, local sales tax dollars fall as well.
Markets will come back with the
economy, but it is yet to be seen how much
of a hiccup tax and user revenue takes.
The hopeful news is that a new stimulus
bill making its way through Congress will
include large underground infrastructure
investments. Depending on the timing and
amounts, that could replenish muni coffers
in 2020, as well as boost projects into 2021.
The virus ran amok around the planet
with no country immune. As cities and
countries were forced to shutter businesses,
we became a world of recluses, sheltering in
our homes and hoping the virus would pass
us by unscathed. With any luck, our prayers
have been answered and the worst is over.
We've been through much with changes
now firmly etched in our society. There have
been changes for the worse, for the better
and for the future. *

JUNE 2020 | UConOnline.com

MOLE_7


http://www.UConOnline.com

Underground Construction - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Underground Construction - June 2020

Contents
Underground Construction - June 2020 - FC
Underground Construction - June 2020 - IFC
Underground Construction - June 2020 - Contents
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 4
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 5
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 6
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 7
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 8
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 9
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 10
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 11
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 12
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 13
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 14
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 15
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 16
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 17
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 18
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 19
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 20
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 21
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 22
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 23
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 24
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 25
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 26
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 27
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 28
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 29
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 30
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 31
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 32
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 33
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 34
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 35
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 36
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 37
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 38
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 39
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 40
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 41
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 42
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 43
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 44
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 45
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 46
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 47
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 48
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 49
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 50
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 51
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 52
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 53
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 54
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 55
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 56
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 57
Underground Construction - June 2020 - 58
Underground Construction - June 2020 - IBC
Underground Construction - June 2020 - BC
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uesi_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uesi_winter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_ditchwitch
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gulfpub/uc_201706
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com