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As a task discipline of civil engineering, Utility Engineering (UE) includes all aspects of any given civil engineering design or construction project pertaining specifically to utilities: utility investigation; conflict analytics; conflict resolution engineering including utility design, utility adjustments, protect-in-place or relocation design; asset management including accommodation policies, statutory mandates, and agreements; installation and inspection; bid and contract management; construction staging; utility related value engineering; construction management; condition assessment, utility coordination between multiple parties; and pipeline, cable and conduit project planning, design, and construction. 

ECHO focuses on a specific aspect of Utility Engineering: Subsurface Utility Engineering.


Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) relates to the collection and depiction of existing subsurface utility data. With the use and adoption of surface geophysics, field investigation, verification and survey, existing subsurface utilities can be found, studied, depicted and analyzed for any civil engineering project.

Obtaining advanced and accurate information on the existing subsurface utilities located within certain project limits is beneficial to better design, make informed decisions on how to deal with existing utilities, mitigate risk and avoid delays during construction.

Depending on the specific project, client and market, the utility information field collected, and office processed and represented can be conveyed in a variety of electronic and hard copy formats.

The American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) Construction Institute (CI) issued the 38-02 “Standard Guideline for the Collection and Depiction of Subsurface Utility Data” where essentially four Quality Level of utility information (Quality Level A to D) are described. ECHO has the staff, experience and capabilities to perform any utility investigative work, in accordance with the ASCE standard, or as requested by the specific project. 


Survey services are the footprint and a critical path item for any design or construction project. ECHO's team of professionals are fully equipped with cutting edge technology and can complete any survey task including but not limited to: horizontal and vertical control surveys; historic alignment retracements; GLO section line retracements, 3D topographic surveys including digital terrain model (DTM); 2D planimetric surveys; drainage surveys; bridge surveys, and underground/subsurface utility surveys.


Unforeseen conflicts and impacts with utilities during construction affect cost, schedule, and safety of a transportation project. The utility coordinator must consider the potential for encountering utilities within the right-of-way limits of every planning and design project, including associated pond sites and other off-site improvements. ECHO’s utility coordination services not only save valuable time, but also provide safer environments for contractors, the public, and others that may be affected by potential underground utility conflicts.


ECHO’s dedicated utility coordination team is focused on determining a solution to all utility issues for each and every stakeholder involved with the project. Our utility coordination services during the design phase of a project include utility conflict determination, utility conflict matrix development, scheduling and chairing utility meetings, utility agreement preparation, utility work schedule development, utility relocation management, and utility reimbursement preparation. 


ECHO is also fully familiar with the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA), the study process required, and the appropriate utility documentation (i.e., PD&E Request Report and Utility Assessment Package) necessary to assist our clients in obtaining Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) project funding approval.

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