75th Anniversary

75 Years of Underground Construction
  • 1980

High-resolute, smart pig become available. 


Reading & Bates Construction Co. completing the first pipeline crossing by HDD under the Mississippi River with a 24-inch pipe. 


Construction of the first two major carbon dioxide lines, used to repressure old oil fields. 

Construction of the 793-mile, 36-inch Trailblazer System was completed, as the first project to bring gas from the Overthrust Belt in the Rocky Mountains to Midwestern and Eastern markets. 


The construction industry had plans for 8,168 miles of lines, mostly small-scale gas project, and there was no longer any mention of Alaskan projects. 


More stories in the magazine focused on water-line projects. 

First use of microtunneling in the U.S. for a sewer line in Florida. 


Much use of non-conventional means of enhancing recovery in older oil fields, such as through continued construction of carbon dioxide pipelines. 

Construction began on Plains All American Pipeline Co.’s 1,768-mile, 30- inch system, the nation’s first West Coast­ to-Gulf Coast oil pipeline. 

The Williams Companies began work on a 1,200-mile fiber optic telecommunications network in the Midwest in which the cables were pulled through abandoned petroleum product pipelines. 


For a tunneling job in Montreal, American Augers configured a 19-foot-diameter machine that helped contractors build collector interceptor lines through hard bedrock some 150 feet below the city. 

Magazine published its first fiber optic cable report. 


Magazine started a bent toward underground technology, with its first special report on “Trenchless Excavation Boring,” in March and a focus on the latest rock trenching techniques in May. 

In July, the magazine had its first Infrastructure Report, featuring the latest in “Repair, Rehabilitation and Replacement of Gas, Sewer  
and Water Systems.” 


The Williams Companies and Tenneco announced plans for the 902-mile, 36-inch Kern River gas pipeline from Wyoming to California. 

Trenchless Technology Center at Louisiana Tech University was established by Tom Iseley. 

Featured Articles
1970s: Bursting the Pipeline Construction Bubble

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of an ongoing series outlining the past several decades of underground infrastructure construction and rehabilitation as seen through the lens of Underground Construction magazine which is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2021. This month, we review highlights ..

1960s: Record-Setting Projects, Game-Changing Technology

The boom of the 1950s carried over into the next decade, but not entirely or evenly.  While hitting peaks in some months, crude oil pipeline construction in the U.S. totaled 7,332 miles by decade-end – slightly more than half of the 13,756 miles during the 1950s and about equal to the 1940s’ 7,103 ..

75th Anniversary Timeline

1951  International Harvester (Chicago) and Superior Equipment (Bucyrus, Ohio) used pipebooms to slide 800-foot sections of 22-inch pipe on project bringing Canadian oil to market through the swamps of Minnesota    1952  With the shortage of steel pipe, due to a high volume of projects, exacerba..

1950s Pipeline & Distribution Construction: Record-Setting, Booming Business

Underground Construction’s first incarnation as the “Pipeliner” continued with booming growth throughout its first full decade of publishing – the 1950s. By the end of the decade, the magazine had broadened its coverage of underground infrastructure and was renamed Pipeline Construction and Oliver K..

LATE 1940S: Founding, Early Years

In 1946, Ellis Dunn and Red Collier of Dunn Brothers Pipeline Stringing, in Dallas, made the bold decision to transition their employee newsletter, Bullplug, into a full-scale, external magazine. First published in November 1946, Pipeliner focused on pipeline construction, which was evolving into a ..

Better with Age

By Robert Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief After 75 years, Underground Construction has experienced its fair share of history through our constant industry involvement and countless close market partnerships. We’ve seen the best of times and the worst of times and covered it in detail throughout the maga..

Company Profiles
Profiles in Underground Construction

BLD Services LLC  THEN  Incorporated in 2001 by Brad L. Dutruch as a full-service municipal and public works construction company in Kenner, La. Initially installed lateral CIPP technology in the Southeastern U.S., incl..

Profiles in Underground Construction

Doosan Infracore North America, LLC  THEN  Founded in 1896, with a long legacy in infrastructure support. History in equipment manufacturing began in 1937 as Chosun Machine Works, Korea’s first large-scale machinery fac..

Profiles in Underground Construction

Charge  THEN  Founded 2006, in Benicia, Calif., as Accu-Bore, by Billy Kilmer, Jr.; in 2009, Mike Robirds, P.E. joined as an owner. Initially performed horizontal directional drilling throughout California for public an..

Cretex Specialty Products

THEN Formed in 1981 by Frank Odill, an engineer working at concrete pipe and manhole producer Waukesha (Wisc.) Concrete Products.First product was the Internal Manhole Chimney Seal, followed by an external version about two years later, for use on manhole rehabilitation projects.Seals were develo..

Featured Videos
Grady Bell- 75th Anniversary
11 February 2021