ASCE Manual of Practice No. 118 For Belowground Pipeline Networks For Utility Cables

U-Tech: Underground Technology Cutting Edge Technical Information for Utility Construction and Rehabilitation
By Dr. Lawrence M. Slavin, Dr. Oleh Kinash, Dr. Mohammad Najafi | January 2010 Vol. 65 No. 1
Figure 2 Typical Underground Conduit Construction (Courtesy of Underground Devices, Inc.)

ASCE Manuals and Reports on Engineering Practice No. 118 for Belowground Pipeline Networks for Utility Cables address the use of pipes (conduits) for the placement of utility cables, including communications and electric power lines. This manual supplements other MOPS produced by the ASCE Pipeline Division, such as those dedicated to trenchless construction. In particular, MOP No. 118 provides background information and design requirement for the placement of cable ducts comprising a formal underground conduit system, as well as cables, or individual ducts for cables, directly buried in the soil. Various technologies for subsequent placement of cables within the installed conduits is also provided, including the theoretical principles governing the techniques.

In addition, a belowground cable network is presented that combines the advantages of underground conduit systems with that of direct-buried construction, and represents a cost-effective system that provides a degree of upgrade capability. This feature supports the desired trend towards belowground cable installation, reducing the hazards associated with aboveground utility poles, and helping avoid damage to other utilities and roads and highways. The results of several field applications of the BCN are described. The development effort for the MOP was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the FHWA Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center.

Although the National Electrical Safety Code attempts to add clarification, the use of duct, or innerduct”, in such “direct-buried applications sometimes tends to blur the distinction between “direct-buried” and “underground conduit” construction.

Dr. Lawrence M. Slavin, Outside Plant Consulting Services Inc., (973) 983-0813, fax (973) 983-0813, email; Dr. Oleh Kinash, IUPUI-Purdue School of Engineering & Technology, (317) 278-1957, fax (317) 278-0785,; Dr. Mohammad Najafi, the University of Texas at Arlington, (817) 272-0507, fax (817) 272-2630, email

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