Logistics Is Key During Pre-Design For Linear Pipeline

By Dale M. Smith, P.E. Collinsville Branch Manager, Geotechnology Inc. | November 2010, Vol. 65 No. 11

The boring locations ranged from 100 to nearly 300 miles from Geotechnology’s office. As the borings were completed, an employee was periodically designated to deliver samples back to Goetechnology’s laboratory for testing. A portion of the lab work was subcontracted and this presented another logistical task to manage work orders, make test assignments, deliver samples to the subcontract lab and manage and incorporate the results into the reports.

The client and Geotechnology both have strong safety cultures. These cultures were meshed and reinforced on this project with a two-hour safety orientation meeting for all project field staff conducted by the client’s corporate safety officer at Geotechnology’s office before mobilization. While conducting field work, each day began with a safety-tailgate meeting when the plan for the day, general safety measures and any specific hazards expected that day were reviewed. Geotechnology and its subcontractors completed the project without first-aid incidents, OSHA-recordable incidents or lost-time accidents.

Challenges & solutions
The field services, laboratory testing, and reporting on this project were on a very tight schedule. Scheduling resources for multiple drill rigs for which all these criteria had to be met before the rig arrived at the boring location, while keeping all of the data straight as numerous reports were prepared was the largest challenge of this project.

Numerous tasks performed by various individuals on the project team had to be completed for each boring prior to the arrival of the drill rig, such as clearing utilities, coordinating right-of-way, acquiring private property access permissions and locating borings. Geotechnology used its own drill rigs and subcontracted others. At times there were eight drill rigs working in numerous counties on a single day. A Geotechnology employee visited each boring site, staked the location, made a utility clearance call and coordinated with the owner’s right-of-way (ROW) agent for the area. Geotechnology coordinated efforts with government entities and private property owners through the ROW agent. Many tasks, being simultaneously executed in several areas, had to be completed for a group of relatively closely-spaced borings before mobilizing the drill rig in order to minimize drive time between distant locations, and in some instances, just marching down the line drilling borings in a logical and efficient sequence.

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