GPRS Services Support Infrastructure, Manufacturing Build-Out

GPRS Services Support Infrastructure, Manufacturing Build-Out

An active construction site.
We are witnessing an historic level of investment in U.S. infrastructure and manufacturing build-out. With that comes the risk of utility strikes and other subsurface damage derailing this positive momentum.

Just as federal and state entities begin historic investment in infrastructure and manufacturing build-out, the issue of utility strikes and other subsurface damage is derailing construction projects nationwide.

Construction of manufacturing facilities has exploded since the $52 billion CHIPS and Science Act was signed into law in August 2022. Over $628 billion in private company investment flooded into the American manufacturing industry in just the first year after the law was signed by President Biden, according to an article published by Construction Dive.

Projects currently underway across the country include a $10 billion partnership between IBM, Micron, Applied Materials, and others to build an advanced semiconductor research and development center in Albany, New York, a $70 million New Balance manufacturing facility in Londonderry, New Hampshire, and a $110 million Simpson Strong-Tie manufacturing facility in Gallatin, Tennessee.

The CHIPS Act provides $52.7 billion for American semiconductor research, development, manufacturing, and workforce development, and $1.5 billion for promoting and deploying wireless technologies that use open and interoperable radio access networks, according to a fact sheet issued by the White House.

The Act has had an immediate, positive effect on the number of new construction projects related to the manufacturing industry. As of October 2023, construction starts for manufacturing facilities had grown by 177%.

“Public dollars are flooding into the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors,” Richard Branch, chief economist at Dodge Construction Network, told Construction Dive. “[That’s] leading to significant growth over the last year.”

The influx of federal funding for these significant construction projects is intended to lead to more high-paying jobs for Americans, and strengthen U.S. manufacturing supply chains and national security, among other goals.

Unfortunately, it also highlights the threat that subsurface damage poses to construction projects of all sizes.

The Problems Mount

According to the Common Ground Alliance’s (CGA) 2022 DIRT Report, subsurface damage during construction projects were cut in half in the decade following the designation of 811 as the national call-before-you-dig number. But they quickly started rising again and, at best, have leveled off in recent years.

“The amount of utility installation and improvement set to occur across the U.S. over the next several years will result in an enormous increase in excavation activity,” the report states. “Your commitment to forward-thinking practices, engagement across committees and programs, participation in the Damage Prevention Institute, and investments in innovative technologies and processes are essential…”

There were 213,792 unique reported damages for 2022, according to the report. When you consider that the average repair cost for a single utility strike is $56,000, that’s a lot of money wasted on subsurface damage.

Failure to notify 811 continues to be the most persistent singular root cause of damage year-over-year, with 77% of no-call damages attributed to professional excavators in 2022.

Damages attributed to failure to pothole/maintain clearance most frequently involve utility work. And contractors were involved in more than half of damages while completing telecommunications and natural gas work.

“This means that facility owner/operators have a tremendous opportunity to address this issue via the processes and procedures around these excavations,” the report states.

A worker uses a tablet while standing in front of heavy machinery.
GPRS offers a suite of infrastructure visualization services designed to mitigate subsurface damage during construction projects.

Getting Off the Ground, On the Right Foot

GPRS offers a suite of infrastructure visualization services designed to mitigate subsurface damage during construction projects, including utility locating and mapping, precision concrete scanning & imaging, 3D laser scanning, video pipe inspection, leak detection, and mapping & modeling.

GPRS utility locating and mapping services utilize ground penetrating radar (GPR) and electromagnetic (EM) locating technologies to fully visualize the built world beneath your feet.

A GPR scanner sends radio waves into the ground. Those waves interact with any subsurface objects they encounter, and those interactions are displayed on a readout as hyperbolas. Based on the size and shape of those hyperbolas, a GPRS Project Manager can tell you what kind of objects were located.

EM locating is a complimentary technology to GPR. A transmitter emits a selected frequency through a known utility line, and the receiver detects the signal to determine the precise direction that utility runs underground.

Through their industry-leading training, which is underpinned by the Subsurface Investigation Methodology (SIM), GPRS Project Managers understand when and where to use GPR and EM locating to identify all buried utilities on your site.

To become SIM certified, our PMs complete a minimum of 320 hours of field training and 80 hours of classroom training where they encounter real-world scenarios that prepare them for even the most unique concrete scanning, utility locating, and video pipe inspection scenarios they may encounter. This far exceeds the national standard for certification (ASNT SNT-TC-1A) of a minimum of 8 hours of classroom training and 60 hours of practical application coaching for NDT Level 1.

On every utility locate GPRS completes, we offer complimentary PDF and .KMZ maps of your project site or facility.

Then we take it a step further with SiteMap®, powered by GPRS, our industry-leading, cloud-based infrastructure mapping solution.

SiteMap® is a single source of truth for the incomparably accurate data collected on your job site by GPRS Project Managers. With an intuitive user interface and the ability to integrate with your existing GIS platforms, SiteMap® represents the “forward-thinking practices” and “innovative technologies and processes” that the CGA deems essential to mitigating subsurface damage as infrastructure and construction projects surge across the country.

From skyscrapers to sewer lines, GPRS Intelligently Visualize The Built World® to keep you on time, on budget, and most importantly, safe.

What can we help you visualize? Click the links below to schedule a service or request a quote today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Benefits of Underground Utility Mapping?

Having an updated and accurate map of your subsurface infrastructure reduces accidents, budget overruns, change orders, and project downtime caused by dangerous and costly subsurface damage.

How does SiteMap® assist with Utility Mapping?

SiteMap®, powered by GPRS, is the industry-leading infrastructure management program. It is a single source of truth, housing the 99.8%+ accurate utility locating, concrete scanning, video pipe inspection, leak detection, and 3D laser scanning data our Project Managers collect on your job site. And the best part is you get a complimentary SiteMap® Personal Subscription when GPRS performs a utility locate for you.

Click here to learn more.

Does SiteMap® Work with my Existing GIS Platform?

SiteMap® allows for exporting of data to SHP, GeoJSON, GeoPackage, and DXF directly from any user’s account that either owns or has a job shared to their account. All these file formats can be imported and utilized by other GIS packages if manually imported by the user. More information can be found here.

Does GPRS offer same day private utility locating?

Yes, in many cases, our professional Project Managers can respond rapidly to emergency same-day private utility locating service calls on your job site. With over 500 Project Managers strategically stationed across every major market in the U.S., GPRS always offers our industry-leading utility locating services near you.