BHATE Geosciences has a dedicated group of trained engineers, geologists and technicians that provide subsurface utility engineering (SUE) services that allows for the effective collection and depiction of existing subsurface utility data. Every year there are thousands of incidents involving contractors and accidental strikes to underground utilities. While the network of underground utilities continues to increase, the contractor's risk of inadvertently damaging one of these lines also increases.


subsurface utility engineering 

Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) Services are accomplished using:

  • FHWA and DOT Policy Guidelines
  • Specific client requirements for excavations or relocation of utilities
  • BHATE will tailor the process to suit individual projects
  • ASCE Standard CI/ASCE 38-02: “Standard Guideline for the Collection and Depiction of Existing Subsurface Utility Data” - defines four levels of data collections and depiction to manage utility conflicts, design and existing infrastructure and reduce damage/delays during construction
    • Level D - Review existing data and interview utility owners. (Project Planning Stage)
    • Level C - Compare historical records to visible surface features such as manholes, valves, hydrants and other items. Survey features and identify discrepancies.  (Preliminary Design Stage)
    • Level B - Utilize geophysical techniques (such as GPR) to determine existence, horizontal position and depth of utilities. (Preliminary Design Stage)
    • Level A - Precise horizontal and vertical location of utilities using pneumatic/hydro excavation.  (Final Design Stage)

BHATE owns our own utility mapping equipment including:

Change orders and design adjustments during construction due to unexpected utility lines in the project area can be very expensive. Subsurface Utility Engineering was born of a desire to alleviate these costs and make construction projects safer, quicker and more easily managed with utility mapping solutions. 

Studies performed by FHWA and Purdue University identified significant cost savings (ROI of $4.62 per $1 spent) when the SUE process was utilized on transportation projects.  Virginia DOT studies show that there is up to 20% reduction in design time when SUE is performed.  

BHATE has Subsurface Utility Engineering contracts with Alabama Department of Transportation and Mississippi Department of Transportation.

subsurface utility engineering