Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE)

The Timmons Group Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) group offers a viable solution to the far too common underground utility line breaks. SUE, combined with traditional record research, coordination with utility owners, and site surveys enables our clients to make informed decisions during project development and design. Using this method, our highly trained staff provides accurate data to our clients in accordance with ASCE standards.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a long-time supporter of Subsurface Utility Engineering, strongly endorses using SUE procedures on highway construction projects. Over 20 states have implemented some form of SUE program in their highway construction projects.

An independent study performed by Purdue University documented savings of $4.62 for every $1 spent.  Researchers compiled data from 71 SUE projects in four states.  They concluded a minimum savings of about $1 billion per year nationally with the correct use of SUE technology.

Some important advantages to using this cost-effective underground location service include:

  • Elimination of delays caused by waiting for relocation of utility
  • No project stoppage waiting for changes to the original design due to discovery of unidentified utilities
  • No contractor claims for downtime charges due to utility conflicts
  • Reduced chances of damaging unknown utilities
  • Avoiding lapse in service to utility customers
  • No cost to utility owners for damages to facilities
  • Increased safety; deaths, injuries, property damage, and releases of product into the environment are a thing of the past

There are four “Quality Levels” pertaining to the methods, interpretation, and precision of subsurface utility data collected, as set by ASCE standards. These Quality Levels serve as a guide for engineers to determine the level of detail they require to achieve the most benefit from SUE services. Our professionals can meet to tailor services to your project needs, budget, and schedule based on these guidelines.

SUE Services:

Record Research
Timmons Group makes contact with utility owners to obtain existing records.

SUE analysts determine the existing horizontal location of underground utilities using electromagnetic, magnetic, sound or other geophysical techniques.

Our Vacuum Excavation Specialists will safely excavate test holes at critical points along an underground utility to determine the horizontal and vertical positions, as well as type, size, and material.

Data Management 
Timmons Group’s highly skilled survey technicians convert field data into CADD files for analysis.  These files show the position of critical utilities in three dimensions, allowing for a more accurate pre-design base drawing.

Design Analysis & Recommendations
Our team approach provides accurate utility location information in the beginning phases of a project in order to avoid many potential conflicts and delays.  Timmons Group offers consulting services for any alternate design or utility relocations.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)