September 2008 Vol. 63 No. 9



Effective Referral Programs

The best way to find new employees is by referrals from an organization's current workforce, believes Wally Adamchik, president of FireStarter Speaking and Consulting, a leadership consulting firm based in Raleigh, NC.

HDD Tech: Getting Fluids To Pass The Paint Test

As if horizontal directional drilling contractors do not have enough issues to contend with in performing the contracted tasks, cleanup of the drilling operation is becoming increasingly difficult because of issues associated with the disposal of drill spoils.

A New Chicago Icon: The Chicago Spire

When completed in late 2011, the Chicago Spire will bring a striking new skyscraper to the center of the skyline of Chicago, a city renowned for impressive architecture of many different periods and styles.

Oklahoma Electric Utility Mounts Successful Overhead-To-Underground Program

The Public Service Co. of Oklahoma (PSO), provider of electricity for metropolitan Tulsa and portions of eastern and southwestern Oklahoma, has an ongoing program to replace aerial distribution lines with underground cable in selected neighborhoods in its service area.

Michels Installs Record Crossing

Crews for Michels Directional Crossing, a division of Michels Corporation, recently completed a successful, record-breaking installation of a 42-inch intra state crossing from Texas to Louisiana in excess of 6,000 feet near Orange, TX. The unique nature of this crossing made it a first of its kind for the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) industry.

Seismic-Prone Project Area Requires HDPE

A new retail power center in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, is quite literally ‘floating’ on a bed of wood, gravel and concrete. In an area where construction must always consider the impact of seismic activity, the potentially fluid nature of this site’s foundation meant that for underground contractor TAG Construction Ltd. of Langley, British Columbia, the choice when it came to the construction of the underground water and sewer lines was crystal clear.


Workforce Crisis: Weighing Effectiveness, Options For Recruiting Labor

There is no question that a shortage of labor is affecting underground construction projects.

Pilot Tube Microtunneling Proves Effective Under Busy Houston Street

Many underground utility projects are necessary when construction for a variety of improvements requires relocation of existing buried infrastructure. In such situations, work often is complicated by surface improvements and heavy traffic in and around the job site.

Vermeer Celebrates 60th Anniversary, History Of Innovation

In 1948, young inventor and entrepreneur Gary Vermeer founded a new company in a one room cement block building to produce a hoist device for lifting grain wagon boxes to make them easier to empty.

Chicago's Unique Building, Innovative HDD Approach

When completed in 2011, the Chicago Spire will be the tallest building in North America and the world's tallest all residential building. With 150 floors rising to a roof height of 2,000 feet, the structure will rise higher than Chicago's Sears Tower, Toronto's CN Tower and the Freedom Tower to be built in New York City.

Higher MAOP not a wrap

Pipeline companies who have been pressing PHMSA to increase maximum allowable operating pressures (MAOPs) in three class areas have some problems with the proposal on that subject the agency released in March, raising questions about whether the Bush administration will issue a final rule before it leaves office.

Growth Of Laser Profiling Technology Enhances CCTV Inspections

Closed circuit television (CCTV) inspections have become the standard method for inspecting the condition of the inside of underground pipe infrastructure, providing information about their condition and areas where deterioration and damage require pipes be repaired, rehabilitated or replaced. CCTV inspections also verify repairs are properly made and that new pipe has been correctly installed.

Washington Watch

FERC Approves Midcontinent Express Pipeline

Major gas producers lost their battle to stop construction of the 506 mile Midcontinent Express Pipeline (MEP) when FERC cleared the project in late July.

House Seeks To Improve Municipal Bond Market

Local sewage infrastructure projects would get a boost from legislation a House committee approved on July 30.

New Products

HDPE Pipe Plays Major Role In City’s Sewer Expansion

The city of Garland, TX, is in the process of a major sanitary sewer improvement program that will expand its capacity and improve conditions for this community of 230,000 located just northeast of Dallas.

Editor's Log

Fuel Talk

Energy paints a complicated picture. Everybody’s got an opinion, but most are centered around getting prices back down; especially for gasoline but also for gas and electric. And the construction industry is caught in the middle.