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Underground Utilities

Underground Utilities

Underground Utilities

I’m an IT soldier in the US Army who does a lot of project management for my Battalion usually in Afghanistan. Part of that involves installation of outplant and underground utilities. I don’t think I have ever been to a site that had electrical installed parallel to the communications conduit (nor does anything else in the ground for that matter). Most electrical runs in a bee line from the transformer to the structure crisscrossing duct systems for fiber communications.

So, I was in North Las Vegas on leave jogging down the street and noticed in the side walk pull boxes all in a row labeled telephone, electrical, street lights, Cable TV, etc. all generally in line with one another telling me that at least in my residential neighborhood, they were all ran parallel to one another in separate conduits. After a little research, come to find out this is probably pretty standard practice.
Question I have:

  • How do they get around each one of the pull boxes? For instance, does the electrical conduit shoot straight through the communications, or off to the side somehow? Or are there offsets leading to their respective pull boxes? Or are the boxes offset just enough to allow conduit not pertaining to the box to pass on one side or another?
  • What is the standard depth the conduit is buried at and is there a best practice for pull box placement and conduit placement?
  • Is there any kind of documentation explaining how a system like this is set up (general contractor guidance or SOPs)?
  • Do they all pass through larger man holes at one point or another?
  • How do they work around street drainage?

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