All construction projects require the geolocation of subsurface utility networks before and during the construction workflow. It is a crucial part of designing, planning, construction and maintenance of any project above the surface. Hidden subsurface utility networks have historically endangered the lives of many people. For construction owners and excavators, lack of information about the presence, nature and location of subsurface networks often creates a challenging situation.
Until two decades ago, there was no way of creating a 3D model of the infrastructure lying beneath our roads and pavements. In recent years, however, technology advancements have helped in subsurface utility engineering (SUE) for the intricate networks of underground cables, pipelines, tunnels, etc. to reduce inefficiencies and build a real-time 3D map of the subsurface. “It is important to look at the entire lifecycle of building an infrastructure. Often when we look at the entire models, in very few cases you actually see the subsurface utilities mapped. In my interaction with the surveyors, especially the utility surveyors, actually that’s one of the biggest headaches or challenges out there – to combine the two worlds – surface and subsurface,” says Katherine Broder, President Construction Tools Division, Leica Geosystems.
Construction of Boylston station on the Tremont Street Subway under Boston Common in 1896
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