Construction Cost Of Underground Infrastructure




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Civil & Environmental Engineering


Renewal of aging underground infrastructure is a major challenge that municipalities inNorth America face every day. Traditional replacement or renewal of these underground utilitiesuses open-cut excavation methods that can be disruptive to everyday life of citizens andexpensive, particularly in built-up areas and in projects with difficult ground and site conditions. Incontrast, trenchless technologies use innovative methods, materials, and equipment that requireminimum surface excavation to renew and construct aging underground infrastructure. Thesenew methods are considered to be more safe, cost-effective, efficient and productive thanconventional open-cut projects. However, to select trenchless technologies in utility design,consulting engineers and utility owners need to compare their costs with open-cut methods.This research provides a basis for cost comparison of pipe bursting as a trenchlesstechnology and traditional open-cut method. There is a case study in this research as an examplefor cost comparison of replacing the sewer pipeline in the City of Troy, Michigan. The results ofthe research indicates that pipe bursting in many cases would be less expensive than the opencutmethod and by using trenchless methods, such as pipe bursting, municipalities and utilityowners could save millions of dollars in the renewal of their of underground pipeline systems.