Maryland Broadband Network Promises Major Rewards

KCI Designs, Executes Historic 1,200-Mile Design, Construction Project
By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | January 2013, Vol. 68, No. 1

Benefits of directional drilling on the project included increased production, limiting surface damage and reduced restoration costs, and reduced disruption of traffic and activities.

Working within the Baltimore city underground conduit system was not a simple matter.

“Parts of the system are over 100-years old and many obstructions in the conduits were encountered,” Siemek explained. “Working in the downtown environment added to the difficulties with lane and road closures, heavy traffic areas, pedestrian traffic, dewatering issues and congested manhole obstacles. Approximately 115,000 linear feet was to be constructed in the existing city conduit system to approximately 46 sites to serve the anchor sites. An additional 30,000 linear feet was constructed in new duct or overhead within the city of Baltimore.”

Open-trench was utilized on a limited basis and excavations typically were 200 linear feet or less.

“In most cases,” said Siemek, “we were excavating in city streets, requiring saw cutting of paving, excavation by backhoe and placement of sheeting, shoring and plating of these areas. Plowing and micro-trenching were not allowed on the ICBN, although portions of the One Maryland Broadband Network in the southern part of the state were plowed.”

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Proponents of the project say completion of the One Maryland Broadband Network will place Maryland among the nation’s leaders in statewide telecommunications and set the stage for further advancement in inter-governmental communication, cooperation and efficiency. The connectivity gained through ICBN and the One Maryland Broadband Network will support public safety interoperable communications and could allow expansion of collaborative initiatives such as the National Capital Region’s Geospatial Data Exchange which facilitates data sharing across jurisdictions and agencies.

“The ICBN project is one of the most important collaborative efforts the state of Maryland has ever produced,” said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. “Once completed, this broadband network will improve our public school system, our health care delivery services, provide a much better communication system for public safety providers, and it will do all this while saving the government millions of dollars every year. This network, and our work to secure it for Maryland, demonstrates the power of innovation in the public sector.”