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.


FDOT Project Development & Environmental (PD&E) Studies

Utility Assessment Package

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.

Conflicts with utilities affect both cost and schedule of a transportation project, and can influence the selection of the alternative during the Project Development & Environment (PD&E) study process. The utility coordinator must consider the potential for encountering utilities within the limits of every project, including associated pond sites and other off-site improvements.

ECHO is fully familiar with the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA), the study process required, and the appropriate utility documentation necessary to assist our clients in obtaining Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approval.

Our staff diligently refers to the following instruments to assist with PD&E studies: FDOT Design Manual 2018 (FDM), Topic No. 625-000-007, the Utility Accommodation Manual (UAM), Topic No. 710-020-001, and the Project Development and Environment Manual (Utilities and Railroads), Topic No. 650-000-001. 

Additionally, ECHO practices the four stages required to appropriately address utilities during the PD&E phase: PD&E Project Scoping; PD&E Request Package; Utility/Agency Owner (UAO) Coordination; and preparation of the Utility Assessment Package.

Subsurface Utility Engineering

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. 

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