Utility Locating Helps Keep America’s Casinos Safe & Secure

Utility Locating Helps Keep America’s Casinos Safe & Secure

The United States is home to over 1,000 casinos — more than any other country in the world. Casinos are often expansive facilities that occupy large grounds and operate around the clock year-round. Some offer more than just gaming, they are mixed-use facilities that feature resorts, hotels, shopping, entertainment venues, and meeting & conference facilities.

To maintain their extensive physical property and assets, casinos are continuously completing construction and excavation projects to modernize and upgrade their facilities. Underground utility locating is a standard practice prior to construction, excavation, or renovation projects. Casinos request utility locating services to maintain safety and compliance, improve project planning, control costs, and ensure uninterrupted operations.

There are a variety of reasons a casino may require underground utility locating.

  • Safety – Safety is the top priority in any construction or renovation project. Accidentally hitting a utility line can lead to serious injuries, property damage, and service disruptions. By accurately locating underground utilities, a casino can mitigate these risks and ensure the safety of its workers and guests.
  • Project Planning – Knowing the location of underground utilities allows for better project planning. It helps architects and engineers design structures and layouts that take into account the existing infrastructure, minimizing the need for costly change orders during construction.
  • Construction & Excavation – Before any construction or excavation work begins, its essential to identify the location of underground utilities to prevent accidents and damage. This includes electric, natural gas, water, telecommunication, steam, sanitary and storm sewer, and other buried utility lines.
  • Cost Savings – Accurately identifying the location of underground utilities before starting a project can save costs in the long run. Subsurface utility locating prevents damage to existing infrastructure and minimizes repairs, downtime, and potential legal consequences.
  • Compliance – OSHA has regulations and guidelines in place to ensure the safe excavation and construction near existing utilities. Compliance with these regulations is not only a legal requirement but also helps prevent accidents and injuries.
  • Service Continuity – Casinos rely on various services, such as electricity, water, and telecommunication, to operate smoothly. Accidental damage to these utilities can cause a loss of service that could disrupt casino operations, leading to financial losses and potential damage to the casino's reputation. Locating and mapping utilities helps in planning construction activities to minimize any interruption to essential services.

GPRS is a Trusted Partner for Casinos

A very small percentage of casinos update their as-builts after construction and expansion. This includes subsurface as-builts. Relying on inaccurate or outdated as-builts creates complications and workflow headaches because the contractors hired to expand, renovate, or repair the facility do not have the knowledge or technology to know what lies below the surface as they begin excavation and construction on existing facilities. It is essential to have reliable underground utility locating and mapping to reduce the risk of damage, project downtime, and injury as a result of striking unknown utilities.

GPRS delivers precise information about the location, depth, direction, and distance of buried underground utilities. We use the most advanced ground penetrating radar (GPR) and electromagnetic (EM) imaging technology available to detect and map underground utility lines and obstructions below the subsurface. Every electric, natural gas, water, communication, steam line, sanitary and storm sewer, and other buried utility line is detected, marked, and mapped with 99.8% accuracy. GPRS provides a free PDF & KMZ map of every outdoor utility locate we complete. This information can help clients safely begin construction planning and excavation.

Having a permanent record is important for contractors and engineers because spray marks wear away and flags can be moved. GPRS 3D laser scanning services can document site data in the form of a point cloud to create 3D BIM models of underground utilities, including pipes, cables, conduits, and even USTs and abandoned lines. GPRS provides every client a complimentary subscription to SiteMap®, our infrastructure data platform that stores subsurface maps – geolocated and layered – for immediate use.

Utility Locating Project Examples for Casinos

General contractors working on a casino renovation call GPRS for accurate subsurface utility data. Below are a few examples.

2D site plan of utility markings at casino
GPRS 3D laser scanned GPR markings for the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida and created a 2D utility site plan in CAD for this client.

GPRS Utility Locate at the Hard Rock Casino Prior to Excavation

Location: Hollywood, Florida

Task: GPRS performed utility locating services at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida to create a utility site map to assist in efficient excavation. GPRS located all utilities with ground penetrating radar (GPR) and electromagnetic (EM) imaging technology, then 3D laser scanned the markings with a Leica laser scanner to capture lines, depths, and annotations. The Mapping & Modeling Team used that data to create a 2D utility site plan in CAD for the client.

Challenge: As the Hard Rock Casino has developed and expanded over the years, as-builts were not updated.

Solution: GPRS Project Managers follow Subsurface Investigation Methodology (SIM) when evaluating and interpreting GPR data and utilize the most advanced GPR and EM technology to achieve and maintain a 99.8% accuracy rate. 3D laser scanners use LiDAR technology to capture the field markings with millimeter accuracy, and the Mapping & Modeling Team created a 2D site plan, allowing for long-term documentation of the utility location and depth found beneath the surface.

Benefit: Capturing the site with LiDAR saved the client potential costs and project delays to repair damaged utilities: damages that could shut down operations at the facility. Up-to-date drawings of existing underground utilities can be distributed to the subcontractors completing the digging onsite, as well as facility personnel for their records after the project, and for future use when new excavation needs arise. Accurate data mitigates the risk of damaging utilities, prevents injury during excavation, and increases the efficiency of construction services.

utility locating at casino
The photo above depicts Justin Rasanow, GPRS Tampa Area Manager, scanning a portion of the proposed trench path.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Installs New Footers

Location: Tampa, Florida

Task: GPRS was requested on-site by a general contractor to perform a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, FL. The purpose of scanning was to locate any underground utilities or other anomalies that would interfere with the contractors plans to install footers for a new building. The contractor planned to install the new footers in the areas scanned to a maximum depth of 8 feet. In total, an area roughly 125 ft. x 1,000 ft. in size was scanned.

Challenge: The contractor believed the area was heavily congested with underground utilities and was worried about hitting a line with their excavation equipment when installing the footers. Damaging the underground utilities when digging could have resulted in injury, damage, or service interruptions that would stop operations at the casino.  

Solution: GPR and EM locators are the best equipment to mark the locations and depths of underground utilities such as water, electrical, gas, fiber optics, sanitary, storm, sewer, and telecommunication lines prior to any type of excavation.  All utilities and anomalies detected were clearly marked on the surface and explained to the on-site contact. This communication was vital to assure that the contractor understood the location and depth of the utilities on site. With this information, the contractor could determine whether the footers could be installed in the proposed areas, or if changes needed to be made to their plans.  

Benefit: Following our scanning and explanation of our findings, the contractor was prepared to excavate the proposed area with the knowledge of the location and depths of all the underground utilities. This information helped the contractor stay on schedule with no costly delays associated with the disruption of any underground utilities.

What is the best utility locating company?

GPRS is the nation’s leading provider of utility locating, 3D laser scanning, and complete site visualization services for the construction, architecture, and engineering industries. Since 2001, GPRS has provided accurate data and outstanding service to improve planning and communication and mitigate risk for your team.

When planning a construction project, it's important to accurately mark and map the location of underground utility lines to prevent damage and project delays. Documenting utility site plans with GPR and 3D laser scanning and rapidly making that information accessible helps general contractors maintain safety and compliance, improve project planning, control costs, and ensure uninterrupted operations. With accurate site maps, contractors can move forward with confidence to complete facility maintenance and upgrades.

Are you planning a construction or development project for a casino or gaming facility? Call GPRS for utility locating prior to casino design and construction.

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