Water Main Construction in Dunlop Street in Richmond Hill

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Brief Overview:

In Richmond Hill, ON, Canada, during the construction of a 2,000-ft. water main along Dunlop Street, a late Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) investigation revealed telecommunication cables misplaced in the roadway instead of under the sidewalk as planned.


Conducted at 90% design completion, this led to significant redesigning, with the city requiring the cable owner to cover the relocation costs, saving $50,000, while the overall project cost increased by approximately 2%.

Full Case Study Reported:

In the town of Richmond Hill, ON, Canada, a 12-in. diameter, 2,000-ft. long water main was to be constructed along Dunlop Street.


The town requested an SUE investigation late into the design process, after other projects brought to light utility misinformation in its records, and their potential adverse impacts in terms of contractor claims and schedule delays (e.g., a similar water main replacement project in which a $55,000 cost overrun was incurred on a $675,000 project).


The SUE investigation included nearly 10,000-ft. of utility designation and three test holes. The main finding of the investigation was that telecommunication cables shown under the sidewalk in the plans
were found to be 7.5-ft. into the roadway.


Because SUE investigation was conducted when design was 90% completed, substantial redesigning was required to accommodate the findings of the investigation.


Specifically, the city required to owner of the
telecommunication cables to relocate them at the expense of the utility, thus saving the city $50,000.

The expected cost of relocating 150-ft. of the 12-in. gas main called for the original design. The cost of the SUE investigation added approximately 2% to the total project cost.


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