Level the Playing Field
I was hired to pothole existing utilities prior to a large project in the city of SeaTac, WA in March of 2020. I called in a ticket to 811 and waited the allotted time for paint to show up in my suggested locations. I then took pictures and emailed them to the client. The client noted that at two of the locations there were two different fiber optic runs in the area and deemed that those existing lines should be exposed for depth and location verification.
Prior to even getting to this step, we dealt with a pretty lengthy process of trying to obtain a Right of Way permit with the city. The process had started at the very early stages of COVID-19, when workplace transitions were starting to impact timelines. After finally getting the permit, we set out to pothole at the first location, but we did not find either of the fiber optic runs that were indicated with orange paint. We hydro-excavated down to six feet and ran into hard pan. The width of our trench was the width of the sidewalk.
The next day, we hydro-excavated at another location along the same run as the two fiber lines. This time, again, we did not find the fiber lines under what was painted in orange. We did find what we believed was the duct bank under the curb next to the street, a concrete wall that started at 16-inches deep and went down to 63 inches. Our permit was not for the street, so we could not chase the concrete and verify if it was in fact the duct bank. However, what we found was pretty indicative of a concrete duct bank. I do want to note that the sidewalk curved to the left to allow for the addition of a right turn lane at the intersection. If this was the duct bank, that would not curve like the sidewalk as easily.
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