What We Learned From UCT

By Robert Carpenter, Editor | March 2011, Vol. 66 No. 3

Attendees were asking questions, seeking knowledge and becoming involved. In tandem with the dramatic attendance increase came an equal jump in industry activity at UCT. While the event has always been the focus for the business of underground infrastructure, 2011 saw a major expansion by a variety of industry associations’ special interests in terms of meetings and discussion. All this reflects the renewed activity level for industry from a multitude of sectors. Interest in promoting industry agendas has returned and been reinvigorated

Private companies as well held numerous business meetings throughout the UCT Conference, preparing for what they anticipate will be a better year ahead.

Of course, all this optimism is not without caveats and caution. Industry activity is just now recovering and becoming more self-sustaining again without artificial funding i.e. stimulus monies. It will probably take through 2012 before higher levels of sustainable growth can be obtained.

But at UCT, there was definitely the belief that the worst is over and that some level of market stability has been achieved. After what industry has suffered through, we’ll take that and continue to rebuild our market.

As UCT is annually the first and largest underground infrastructure industry event, it has often been said that as UCT goes, so goes the market place for the upcoming year. Let us hope that corollary again holds true.

Regardless, at UCT 2011, it appeared that the business of underground began afresh.

In the February Editor’s Watch discussing the San Bruno, CA, gas explosion and implication of pipebursting as a possible cause, the term “spiral weld” steel pipe was inaccurately used. The proper term was “seam welded” pipe. We regret the error.