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Chapter 2

2.3 Identifying Existing Facilities in Planning and Design87/95/

Practice Statement:

Designers indicate the existence of all public and private underground facilities on drawings during planning and design, including if the application of a subsurface utility engineering (SUE) process and appropriate quality level of verification were applied or required for construction.

Practice Description:

During the planning phase of the project, eacilities are shown on preliminary design plans. The planning documents include possible routes for the project together with known underground facility information. The various facility owners/operators are then given the opportunity to provide appropriate feedback. During the design phase of the project, underground facility information from the planning phase is shown on the plans. If information was gathered from field-located facilities, potholing, underground facility surveys, or subsurface utility engineering (SUE), this is noted on the plans. The designer and the contractor should understand the SUE process and the quality levels of the information included on the plans. If an elevation was determined during information gathering, it is shown on the plan. The facilities shown include active, abandoned, out-of-service, and proposed facilities. The design plans include a summary drawing showing the proposed facility route or excavation, including streets and a locally accepted coordinate system. The plans are then distributed to the various facility owners/ operators to provide the opportunity to furnish additional information, clarify information, and identify conflicts.  In the event confirmation is unavailable regarding the physical location of an existing public or private underground facility, a process to identify these facilities is noted on the plan and in bid/contract documents as applicable.


Providing complete underground facility information and including this information on design drawings and in bid/contract documents when applicable reduces hazards, simplifies coordination, and minimizes the cost to produce the final project.

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