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Microtrenching Offers Economical Installation Option
“Microtrenching simply is a new and effective construction option,” Trawick said. “The key to microtrenching is knowing when to use it. As in all construction situations, it is important to select the right process for the job. Microtrenching makes the most sense for areas where fiber deployment is not currently cost effective, such as downtown areas and congested neighborhoods.”
Quanta Services is a leading specialized contracting services company, delivering infrastructure solutions for the electric power, natural gas, pipeline and telecommunications industries. The company’s comprehensive services include designing, installing, repairing and maintaining network infrastructure nationwide.
Q-Trench On The Job
A recent project illustrates integration of microtrenching into a project.
Construction of a broadband network required installation of 200 miles of underground fiber optic cable with approximately half the conduit installed by the Quanta Services Q-Trench Solution.
On a typical day, three microtrenching crews worked on the project, said Ken Trawick, president of Quanta telecommunications and power generation divisions. Cable routes were in city street rights-of-way and on homeowner association property. Cuts were made parallel to and across streets. Asphalt surfaces range from new to badly-deteriorated asphalt.
“Each crew averaged about 1,500 feet per day,” said Trawick. “Twenty-four hours after the trenches were filled, asphalt mastic was applied on top of the grout-cured trench.
“The benefits of microtrenching for this project were speed of installation, low-impact along rights-of-way in private, upscale residential developments and cost savings compared to traditional construction methods.”
If the Q-Trench system had not been available, Trawick said, rock saw equipment would have been the primary option of construction on segments where microtrenching is being used.
“However,” he added, “rock saws would not have been allowed in many areas because of the dust and dirt they cause during construction and the lengthy cleanup and restoration necessary. On this project, microtrenching certainly showcased its capabilities in high-end areas where residents are very sensitive to construction that is disruptive to their neighborhoods.”