Editor's Log

Editor’s Log: Trendsetters or Irresponsible Dreamers?

(UC) — Leave it to the state of California. Always the trendsetters, for better or for worse. It used to be clothes, hair styles and fashion choices that started first in California then spread throughout the land. Hollywood counter-culture movies became stalwarts of the cinema as well.

Editor’s Log: Launch of the Big Event

(UC) — There’s a good chance by now that most of our readers have seen announcements for the evolution of the next big event for underground industry awards – a very special occasion that will reward accomplishments and people of the underground infrastructure industry in a unique, personal and deserving fashion.

Good math, bad math

By Robert Carpenter, Editor-in-chief First the good math  The over two-year COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc through the lives of virtually everyone in the world. That also held true for the business world and certainly the underground infrastructure indust..

Editor's Log

By Robert Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief By the time this article is published, who knows what will have happened with the Russian war on Ukraine. Our prayers are for a peaceful and positive resolution for Ukraine and the Western World, and an end to the criminal actions of the despot Vladimir Putin.  ..

Editor's Log: A Little Faith

By Robert Carpenter, Editor-in-chief As is typical of me these days, there never seems to be enough hours in the day. Always one more thing to do, one more mountain to climb. So, it should come as no surprise that I’m actually writing this column in Fort Worth as our staff gears up for the Undergro..

Editor's Log: Hope and Concerns

By Robert Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief As we enter a new year, it brings a mixed bag of hope and concerns for the underground infrastructure markets.   This issue of Underground Construction includes two excellent analyses by ..

Infrastructure Money and Reality

By Robert Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief The Great Infrastructure Money Grab is on and at long last, underground construction markets are getting a reasonable share of the funding bonanza. Markets are anxious to secure their piece of the $550 billion of which $120 billion is designated for water, sewer..

Editor's Log: Be Careful What You Ask For

By Robert Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief Whatever happened to common sense? If something is working, why toss it away like two-week-old lasagna?  Natural gas prices have more than tripled in 2021, climbing above $5.10 per BTU at..

Editor's Log: An Investment in Rural America

The pursuit of increased infrastructure spending received new hope recently when the political impasse in the U.S. House of Representatives was temporarily bypassed. A working compromise within the Democratic Party allowed a vote on the divisive and partisan $3.5-billion reconciliation spending bill..

Movie Titles, Politics & Hope

As the year ends, the country is still going through many transitions with politics, journalism approaches and the lingering COVID-19.

Justifying Evils of EVs

Electric vehicles present an intriguing transportation future. But it all has to be balanced with practicality, reality of purpose and cultural empathy, and it can’t be rushed until a lot of issues resolved.

Bright Spots and the MVP is …

These are treacherous times indeed for the underground infrastructure markets.

Atomic Anniversary, Politics & Perspectives

The political landscape in America was forever changed with the development of the atomic bomb and its subsequent use to end World War II. Our landscape looks set to dramatically shift once again.

Renewed Growth in a Pandemic World

August is upon us and already there are those lamenting a lost 2020, calling it a year of failure. Granted, to date, 2020 has been a year of sickness, a year of protest, a year of violence, a year of lunacy. However, I don’t buy that it has been a year of failure.

Editor's Log: Neglect and Consequences

To say it has been a rough decade for Pacific Gas & Electric, one of the largest energy utilities in America, is an understatement. Between 2010 and 2020, PG&E has endured a series of events, primarily self-inflicted, including convictions of malfeasance that would break most major corporations.

Changes in a Viral World

Unquestionably, the Covid-19 virus changed our way of life; much of our work practices changed accordingly and dramatically, as well. No doubt, that change applies to various underground infrastructure markets as well.

Waiting for The World to Reboot

The world has survived many horrific pandemics for thousands of years. No doubt we’ll survive this latest attack on the human race by the merciless microscopic coronavirus army, and we all pray the toll in lives will not continue to climb. What it will do to the long-term, worldwide economy and our way of life remains to be seen.

Reunion and Reflection

In late 2018, a germ of an idea was floated about that turned into a true gem of an idea – how about having a reunion for the horizontal directional drilling industry?

Municipal Funding, Reality and Candidates

This issue of Underground Construction contains our exclusive Sewer & Water Municipal Survey and Forecast. Information for the annual article came from our own survey and research combined with data from industry consulting expert FMI and our Washington D.C. correspondent Stephen Barlas.

Interesting Times

It seems like the more things change for underground infrastructure markets, the more things stay the same. That’s why trying to get a handle on our industry outlook for 2020 remains a challenge.

Value of Knowledge

I recently attended the annual meeting of the Industry Advisory Board for the Trenchless Technology Center (TTC) at Louisiana Tech University. It’s something I’ve been involved with for decades and thoroughly enjoy. Networking with industry experts, learning of cutting-edge research and discussing a..

HDD Memories to the Future

If you are involved in the horizontal directional drilling industry, by now you’ve probably heard about the first-ever HDD Reunion (HDDR) being organized by industry personnel and Underground Construction magazine. HDDR 2020 will be held in conjunction with the annual Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exhibition (UCT) in Fort Worth, Texas, Jan. 28-30.

Zealots Seek Change Through Propaganda

Say what you will about the Sierra Club, but its membership includes some dedicated and hard-core people. Historically, they are regularly willing to risk life and limb, endure hardships and suffer all kinds of abuse to achieve their goals. Of course, most rational people question those goals, let alone their tactics. Also, are the often, physical risks and hardships the best way to influence the public? I think not.

An Apparent Absence Of Common Sense

Berkeley, Calif., gained its whacky reputation back in the psychedelic 60s and 70s. The last few years have seen a resurgence of that nonsensical behavior. The most recent example is an “all-electric” move by the city.

HDD Reunion

In the “good old summertime,” family reunions abound. Meeting at a park, campground or Grandma’s house, Great Uncle Fred enthralls us with tales from the “old days” and Aunt Betty passes on family cooking secrets. Brothers and sisters, scattered across the g..

Survey Says: Clear Sailing for HDD

The 21st version of our exclusive HDD survey profiles a healthy industry rife with opportunities for growth. Cynical observers may point out that the bubble must burst sometime, but short of a major economic crunch, our data reflects the belief that most HDD markets will remain strong for several more years.

Give Them What They Ask For

When an energy source is extremely economical, much-more environmentally friendly and readily available, common sense would dictate that you encourage development of that source. But sometimes common sense and reality prove to be dramatically different thing..

Welcome to Our New Home (Page)

Sometimes updating your home is a good thing. And sometimes completely scrapping the old home for a new one is a great thing. Our completely new website was designed to meet the evolving needs of the underground construction and rehabilitation industries.

Farcical and Other Lost Words

EDITOR’S LOG Robert Carpenter | Editor-in-Chief Words are essential to my profession so I’m admittedly sensitive. But I sometimes wonder if technology is killing our written and spoken vocabulary? I recently read a report that claimed modern society is u..

Pipelines: Predicting The Unpredictable

by Robert Carpenter, Editor In Chief First, the bad news. It’s been about 17 months since oil and gas prices started their freefall. Prices for oil seem to have stabilized – for now – while natural gas remains in flux. But reports of dramatic oversupply, historic storage levels, poor international..