Editor's Log

I’ve been asked by many people if the main section of the Keystone XL Pipeline, from Canada to Oklahoma, will be built now that a revised route has been approved both by the state of Nebraska and TransCanada. The new route reportedly will avoid the most ecologically sensitive regions of Nebraska.

It was a desperate cry for help, presented in powerful and disturbing comments from municipal respondents to the recently completed 16th Annual Sewer & Water Infrastructure Survey conducted by Underground Construction.

Robert Carpenter, Editor

The November elections are over and the nation has survived. But the question remains: when will the much ballyhooed economic recovery begin in earnest? It looks like 2013 is going to be another interesting and challenging year in which the underground infrastructure market must endeavor to persevere. And we will.

As I write this column, it has been about two weeks since the presidential election. In conversations with many industry people, the topic is always what lies ahead for the next four years and can we still transition into a reasonably healthy business environment?

By the time this magazine is read, the national elections will be over and our course cast for the next four years for president, two years for House and Senate.

It wasn’t that long ago that those involved in the fiber communications realm were considered dreamers. Shortly after the fiber back-bone build-out bust of 2000-2001, fiber trunk lines were everywhere but rarely utilized. The U.S. was awash in dark fiber systems, waiting for not just business, but individuals as well, to embrace fiber to the premises – at a high cost. Most consider that cost to connect fiber to homes and business as just too high and the return too low to make a working business model. It would take decades for fiber to become in vogue enough to justify lighting up the dark fiber, justify build-out costs and truly provide fiber to the premise.

Robert Carpenter, Editor

In this issue of Underground Construction, there are several project stories that all feature radically different equipment technologies or applications. Some have been around for many decades, others just a short period.

Critical times lie ahead.

The jury is still out on whether extenuating factors from around the world will impact the U.S. economy and send us into another recession by 2014. There are paths to take that could mitigate those circumstances, but the course will largely remain unresolved until after the November 2012 elections.

The rehabilitation industry has arrived. As we struggle through another slow year for municipal spending, the one constant in every city’s plans remains funding a certain amount of rehab work. No longer the last resort for addressing sewer and water system repairs, rehab has evolved to the modern science of repair that it is today. From chemical grout to more than 20 difference market niches, rehabilitation has come of age.

Robert Carpenter, Editor

Traditionally, the June issue of Underground Construction carries a large section focused on various equipment utilized in the underground construction industry. I’m pleased to say this issue is no different.

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