HDD Specs Developed For Ohio DOT

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | March 2013, Vol. 68 No. 3

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is reviewing a draft of a proposed Standard Specification for Horizontal Directional Drilling which would ensure quality trenchless installations of underground pipelines and conduits.

The standard was developed by Bowling Green State University (BGSU) for the ODOT Office of Transportation and Research in cooperation with ODOT and the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration with assistance by the Ohio Directional Drilling Association (OHDDA).

“The ultimate objective of the research project and the proposed HDD standard was to develop a balanced HDD specification that will benefit all parties involved in directional drilling,” said Alan Atalah, Ph.D., of the BGSU department of construction management who, along with Sandria Brown, are authors of the proposed standard.

“Of course,” Atalah added, “we hope that the standard will be implemented.”

What happens next is up to ODOT. “We hope that the department will gather input from the larger industry constituents and other departments within ODOT to make improvements, if needed,” said Atalah. “Next would be to test the standard on one or two projects, update accordingly, then implement it as part of the book of specifications. It is hoped that other DOTs also will adopt it. It is expected that the Great Lakes Trenchless Association (GLTA) will slightly modify the standard to suit the purpose of its members and use it in the Great Lakes region.” (In 2013, the Ohio Horizontal Directional Drilling Association is making the transition to the Great Lakes Trenchless Association.)

The GLTA had been discussing various research initiatives in the past and developing a standardized specification for the HDD industry has been a top priority for some time, said Brian Willis, GLTA president.

“As an association, our primary goal is to bring multiple organizations and stakeholders together in order to work collaboratively on projects that will benefit the trenchless industry,” he continued. “The specification project is a great example of a multitude of stakeholders coming together in order to address a problem and provide sustainable solutions that will benefit the HDD industry and promote trenchless technology to decision makers.” Willis is project manager/estimator at Precision Directional Boring LLC, Valley City, OH.

The BGSU research team collected existing HDD specifications from various municipalities and agencies in Ohio and other states.