Jan 09

GPRS Locates Utilities For Electric Vehicle Charging Stations In Bay City, Michigan

As the United States moves further into energy independence, our existing infrastructure requires extensive updates to support changes in transportation. GPRS provides private utility locating to all types of projects. This project took place in March 2020 at a large regional grocery chain. They have existing brand specific chargers in their parking lot; however, they need more spaces to keep up with demand and to upgrade existing systems.

The client has a contract with GPRS for dozens of sites across the Midwest, and we provide utility locating services as well as non-survey grade mapping to assist them in the planning phase as well as the construction.

The store itself has an affiliated gas station several hundred yards away in the lot. The power and fiber/comm lines to the gas station are all privately owned and would not have been located by 811/Miss Dig, but GPRS specializes in locating all utilities regardless of owner.

By using multiple technologies, we also attempt to find any “unknown” targets. These are often the most valuable finds for an architectural firm, engineer or planner. They are often undocumented targets, sometimes abandoned, that when found later in construction will slow down a jobsite as a contractor searches records and attempts to identify what they’ve found. By discovering these targets prior to breaking ground, we ensure jobsite safety and often speed up underground work.

Our industry leading Subsurface Investigation Methodology or SIM process ensures that we do quality work on each jobsite and that the GPRS Project Manager fully leverages our equipment in a systematic approach to locate as accurately as possible. By calling GPRS, the client minimizes surprises and damages from their underground work.

On this jobsite, a communications duct bank was discovered running underneath the charging stations. The lines themselves ran through a distant manhole, which we traced with an induction clamp. Power ran from a nearby pole to the transformers and then on the charging equipment. There were two site lighting circuits, one that is local to the charging station and another that is exclusively further away in the parking lot. A water line was traced from a nearby hydrant and connected to multiple shutoffs recessed in the driveway. After painting each target in the appropriate color, we placed flags in grassy areas.

This client has requested mapping, which is particularly helpful for them when they aren’t on site to discuss the findings. We offer two main types of non-survey grade utility maps, both collected with the same GPS units. The first is a PDF document where the findings are overlaid over aerial imagery of the scan area. Alternatively, as a second option we offer non-survey grade CAD maps of our findings. This is primarily beneficial when the client can provide a base map of the area that includes driveways, structures, sidewalks and any other known surface structures. The maps we provide are not engineering or land surveying reports.

Every job can include a Job Summary Report, which is a typed summary of the job scope and our findings. This is a great way for a client to show that they’ve taken all the necessary steps to have a safe workplace by calling in an expert to locate underground utilities.

When you have an infrastructure project, make sure to contact GPRS so that we can ensure that you have a safe and efficient project. For projects in Michigan or questions about our process and capabilities, feel free to reach out to me at

GPRS does not provide geophysical, geological, land surveying or engineering services. If you need such services, please contact an appropriate professional.