Social Benefits Of Pipe Bursting: A View From The Field

10th In A Series From The IPBA
By Shawn Ready, Project Manager, Ted Berry Trenchless Technologies Team LLC | February 2012, Vol. 67 No. 2
Excavations are limited on a pipe bursting project as opposed to an open trench over the entire pipeline.

Desirable alternative
Having to cross an individual’s driveway, with ample courtesy warning, for a reasonable amount of time during an installation is merely an afterthought when typically an experienced crew with applicable machinery and training will be installing 500 to 1,000 feet of utility per day. That’s in lieu of 100 to 150-feet with typical open-cut in moderately workable conditions. Having a piece of pipe crossing your driveway for one to 4 hours with limited excavation is a small issue compared to the barrage of earth hauling equipment removing and replacing aggregates during a typical open-cut project. Being delayed in traffic in a world of concentrated carbon emission awareness and heavy usage of diesel burning equipment for extended durations discourages rate payers to yearn for significant capital improvement interests. Sitting in backed-up construction traffic, late for an obligation or waiting for muddy dump trucks to back into position for another trip doesn’t get residents thinking they want more infrastructure improvements.

Having the increased production of pipe bursting has often amazed residents to how quickly progress is made, and how the quicker construction makes interruptions manageable. Pipe bursting crews have often received acknowledgment of their social impact awareness, knowing their very existence is based on the premise that social impact to residents is detrimental to their industry’s success. A good example was a pipe bursting crew member of mine carrying groceries for a local resident knowing our presence on the job, in part, was to prevent negative social impact to the residents during our installation.

Safety considerations
When employing the social advantages of pipe bursting, it is essential to delve into the exposures of employees to ever present dangers in underground construction activities, and the relative reduction of such circumstances in pipe bursting construction. Construction workers are more than a simple occupational group: they are dads, moms, sisters and brothers, loved ones to millions of people throughout the world.

The preplanning stage of a project is critical and careful considerations are made to the placement of necessary pits and minimizing impact to private property.

Enabling an extreme reduction of their exposure to dangerous and sometimes life-threatening situations cannot be overlooked; yet no numerical value can be established to the value of less trenching, less machinery movement, less pinch points and fewer variables overall that decrease social and occupational risk.

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