5.23 Locate Request Updates
The excavator calls the one call center to refresh the ticket when excavation continues past the life of the ticket (sometimes, but not always, defined by state/provincial law). This recognizes that it is a best practice to define ticket life. If not currently defined in state/provincial law, ticket life is ideally 10 working days but does not exceed 20 working days. Original locate request tickets are generated so that the minimum number of locate request updates are necessary for the duration of a project. After all the excavation covered by a locate request is completed, no additional locate request updates are generated. Communication between excavation project planners, field personnel, and clerical personnel is essential in accomplishing this task.36
Refreshing the ticket recognizes that markings are temporary and provides notification to facility owners/operators of ongoing excavation when a job is started but not completed as planned. Any excavation not begun during the life of the ticket is recalled to the one call center. Any excavation that covers a large area and will progress from one area to the next over a period of time is broken into segments when notifying the one call center in order to coordinate the marking with actual excavation. The possibility exists that new facilities have been installed in the area where the excavation is to be conducted after the original notification and marking. This practice also helps in situations where multiple excavators are working in the same area at essentially the same time. An example of when this can occur is when two facility owners, such as a cable television company and a telephone company, are planning to serve a new section of a subdivision. In their pre-planning process, they see a vacant space in the right-of-way to place their new facility. Each excavator (internal or external) calls the one call center for locates and each facility owner/operator comes and marks their respective facilities indicating that nothing exists. For one reason or another, one of the excavators gets delayed and does not start construction as planned, and when returning to the job site to place the new facility, finds new lines have been installed in the previously vacant space. Many facility owners/operators do not perform their own locates and utilize the services of a contracted facility locator. These contracted facility locators may not be aware of work planned in the near future. By excavators refreshing the locate ticket, the contract locator has another opportunity to identify newly placed facilities. This practice also gives the facility owner/operator another chance to identify the location of their facilities and to avoid possible damage and disruption of service if something was marked incorrectly or missed on a previous locate. Excellent planning, generation, and updating of tickets enhance safety and reduce the unnecessary use of locate resources.37
- Existing state laws that specify 10 working days include Kansas, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Existing state laws that specify 15 working days include Virginia and Tennessee.
- Existing practices by Progress Energy, Duke Energy of Houston, Texas, and Arizona Blue Stake, Inc.