August 2017 Vol. 72 No. 8


CUIRE 15th Annual Engineering & Inspector Schools

The Center for Underground Infrastructure Research and Education (CUIRE) at the University of Texas-Arlington held its 15th annual trenchless technology inspector training and certification schools Jan. 29-30, in conjunction with the Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exhibition in Fort Worth, TX. This year’s program included two, half-days of a Geotechnical School, as well as two half-days of the Advanced HDD School.

Geotechnical School Part One
Geotechnical requirements for both trenchless and open-cut applications, soft soils and rock investigation methods, and how ground conditions will impact trenchless feasibility and productivity, were presented by Tennyson Muindi, P.E., McMillen Jacobs Associates; Bradford P.  Miller, P.G., Haley & Aldrich; and Nicholas H. Strater, P.G., Brierley Associates.

Pipe School
Applications, advantages and limitations of each type of pipe, such as steel, ductile iron, vitrified clay, PVC, HDPE, fiberglass, etc., and new developments in pipe materials and joining systems were presented by Shah Rahman, Thompson Pipe Group/Flowtite.

Geotechnical School Part Two
Planning, geotechnical reporting and contracting requirements for trenchless technologies for different ground conditions were presented by Tennyson Muindi, P.E., McMillen Jacobs Associates; Bradford P.  Miller, P.G., Haley & Aldrich; and Nicholas H. Strater, P.G., Brierley Associates.

Mud School for Trenchless Technology
Everything one needs to know about how to properly mix and apply drilling fluids for trenchless applications, including spoil removal and lubrication applications,  was presented by Frank Canon, consultant.

Horizontal Auger Boring and Pipe Ramming School
Planning, design and construction of horizontal auger boring and pipe ramming was presented by Terry McArthur, P.E., HDR,  and Alan Goodman, HammerHead.

Advanced Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) School Part One
Planning and design of large-, mid- and small-size HDD projects, from inception to closeout and delivery, was presented. The session covered pipe loads, bore planning, drilling fluids and case studies, and was presented by Jeffrey Scholl, P.E., Jeff Puckett, P.E., Kyle Nevins, P.E., Dave Patonai, P.E., and Austin Miller, J.D. Hair & Associates.

Pipe Lining and Renewal School
Cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) and pipe lining methods were featured. It including planning, design, construction, inspection and QA/QC., presenters were Dr. Tom Iseley, P.E., Trenchless Technology Center at Louisiana Tech University; Dr. Firat Sever, P.E., American Structurepoint; Lynn Osborn, P.E., LEO Consulting; and Gerry Muenchmeyer, P.E., Muenchmeyer Associates.

Advanced Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) School Part Two
This session covered construction of large-, mid- and small-size HDD projects. It included tracking, locating and case studies presented by Jeffrey Scholl, P.E., Jeff Puckett, P.E., Kyle Nevins, P.E., Dave Patonai, P.E., and Austin Miller, J.D. Hair & Associates.

Pilot Tube and Microtunneling School
Planning, design and construction of pilot tube and other guided boring and microtunneling methods, with case studies, was presented by Troy Stokes, Akkerman; Jeff Boschert, National Clay Pipe Institute; and Glenn Boyce, Ph.D., P.E., McMillen Jacobs Associates.

Upon completion, attendees received a certificate, wallet-size certification and a PDF copy of all presentations on a USB drive. For more information on future engineering and inspection schools, call CUIRE at (817) 272-9177, email at or visit

CUIRE, South Central NASTT Hosts 2nd Trenchless Technology & Pipe Conference

On June 20, the South Central Chapter of NASTT (SC-NASTT) and CUIRE held the second Trenchless Technology and Pipe Conference (TTP 2017) at the University of Texas-Arlington with more than 130 people attending. Attendees received a copy of all the presentations on a USB drive and a certificate of completion.

At the general session, Dr. Mo Najafi, CUIRE director; Larry Johnson, SC-NASTT chair; Alan Goodman, SC-NASTT vice chair; Dr. Ali Abolmaali, chair of civil engineering; and Dr. Peter Crouch, dean of engineering, welcomed attendees.

The keynote presenter was Travis Andrews with the city of Fort Worth Water Department, who spoke on upcoming capital improvement projects for water and sewer. The highlight of this general session was presentation of four, $2,000 student scholarships by SC-NASTT from the proceedings of TTP 2016. The scholarships were presented by Molly Margosian, NASTT membership coordinator, Johnson and Goodman.

Evaluation Of Underground Freight Transportation In Texas

In December 2016, CUIRE completed phase one of the underground freight transportation (UFT) project for Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The purpose of this project was to investigate the feasibility of employing a variety of underground freight mobility technologies for optimized use of the available highway capacity.

Underground freight transportation is a class of automated transportation systems in which automated vehicles carry freight under existing highways through tunnels and pipelines between intermodal terminals. Being able to use part of the underground space of the existing highways will greatly facilitate the construction of such tunnels and pipelines and reduce their construction costs.

By considering planning and design, construction methods, cost analysis, environmental impacts, financing means and the leadership of the Stakeholder Committee, this project examined the use of UFT in three proposed routes in Texas: the Port of Houston to Dallas, Port of Houston to a distribution center within 15 miles of the Port’s point of origin, and the border crossing with Mexico in Laredo.

Considering operation and maintenance costs, the researchers determined that the cost of shipping freight by UFT is approximately 1/3 to 1/10 of shipping by trucks, and on longer hauls UFT becomes more cost effective. Compared with railroad, transporting freight by UFT is a lot faster, and does not contribute to noise and traffic congestions generated by railroads.

As for capital costs, UFT construction (approximately $57 million for two tracks) is compatible with highway construction in urban areas (approximately $24 to $32 million per lane-mile). In addition, UFT has minimal maintenance costs, provides improved performance, reduces land usage, has less operation and maintenance costs, provides increased efficiency, and provides opportunity for shared infrastructure.

By reducing heavy trucks, UFT provides a safer environment for cars, and reduces damage to pavement and bridges. UFT reduces social costs of air, water and noise pollution, traffic congestion and accidents. While government agencies may lose fuel and spare parts tax revenue for a 250-mile route between Houston and Dallas, the annual social benefit of UFT is estimated to be approximately $400 million.

Value of research
The table (in 2016 dollars), below, shows the value of this research. These analyses do not include benefits arising from reduction of overland accidents involving trucks and trains, such as the train collision near Panhandle, TX, on June 28, 2016. The value of research goes beyond just economic values, considering safety and environmental impacts of other modes of freight transportation. Net present value (NPV) and benefit-cost ratio (B/C) of each system, along with the comparison of the system’s internal rate of return (IRR) with the discount rates, clearly show the economic viability of each proposed UFT alternative. To download the complete report, visit

First Pipeline Design, Installation Workshop

More than 40 people attended CUIRE’s first Pipeline Design and Installation Workshop, June 21 through June 23, at the University of Texas-Arlington. Participants received a copy of all the presentations on a USB drive and a certificate of completion.
Dr. Antonio Miglio, a hydraulic and pipeline consultant engineer from Castrovillari, Italy; and Dr. Mo Najafi, CUIRE director, presented the following topics:

  • Pipeline planning
  • Pipeline planning and design
  • Soil classification, properties and compaction
  • Soil pressure distribution on rigid and flexible buried pipes
  • External loads on buried rigid and flexible buried pipes
  • Pipeline Design
  • Structural design rigid and flexible buried pipes
  • Trenchless technology new installations
  • Trenchless technology rehabilitation/renewal/replacement
  • Pipeline Construction
  • Pipeline foundation, bedding, embedment and backfill
  • Lightweight materials for pipe embedment and backfill
  • Pipe materials
  • Acceptance and inspection

On June 24, Harvey Svetlik, water and energy staff engineer at Georg Fischer Central Plastics-Dallas, presented Design And Construction With HDPE Pipe. The next day, Philippe Fischer and Laurent Hesters from Hobas Pipe, Canada and France, respectively, presented Sliplining Design for Non-Circular Pipes. This workshop taught principles of pipeline design and installation from the planning stages to the final stage of construction.

For more information on the 2018 PDI Workshop, email, or call (817) 272-9177.

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